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Deal 1160: Snowballed

This wasn’t a life for just anyone, but it was a living at least. Rushing from town to town, job to job, identity to fresh identity. It takes a toll, and fairly rapidly.

Needing to always be careful to not let the current identity slip and reveal is hard enough. But it needs must be done. In every town I visit, there is someone who knows things, who is planning something, who may be susceptible to a delicate touch if the right weapon is available. I am the weapon. I am the light touch.

I am deployed to calm the waters and prevent the storm, to safeguard the peace.

I haven’t missed yet.

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Deal 1156: Why?

Every evening she walked right to the edge, then turned back to her comfortable home.

The edge called to her, tempted her, taunted her.

The edge whispered things to her, things that in the sunlight were clearly lies, but at night sounded different.

And yet, every evening she walked back to the edge.

Perhaps she was testing her resolve?

Perhaps she couldn’t see that the whispers were seeking to betray her?

Whatever she was thinking, we may never know.

Last night, the call was too much for her resolve, too much for her to deny.

She walked right up to the edge, under the rail, and beyond.

Beyond the yellow line.

Beyond the other side.

And disappeared into the darkness, never to be seen again.

Tonight, her daughter walked to the edge for the first time.

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Deal 1115: Orange, not banana

It is a sacred duty, handed down the family in an unbroken line for generations.

The tree is in our care.

The tree must be protected.

Neither blight nor pests allowed.

We feed and water according to a plan set out by our forefathers. Once or twice a decade we prune severely, other years we use judgment. Once or twice in each caretaker’s life, we move a graft to a new rootstock. We treat the grafts like their parent tree, knowing they can replace the original at any time.

Today the orange grove extends for acres, and presiding over it all is a grand tree with a trunk large enough that you can’t reach around it.

The grove has often survived flood and fire. This year, both nearly at once.

It is our duty to preserve.

And make marmalade.