Under a Butterscotch Sky
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This short fiction spans generations and time periods, ranging from the drama of human life to the unexplained on the outer fringes of reality.
The short fiction of Susan Knier spans generations and time periods, ranging from the drama of human life to the unexplained on the outer fringes of reality. In “Leaving,” two children face a dangerous dilemma when their fugitive father is seriously injured in a remote wilderness camp. A woman struggles to adapt to 21st century life after many years in a cloistered monastery in “Matins And Lauds.” A mysterious young man protects the grand destiny of an impoverished but brilliant classmate in “Saving Grace.” In “Under A Butterscotch Sky,” a woman and her terminally ill daughter immerse themselves in coverage of the first manned mission to Mars, their isolation paralleling that of the astronauts.
This collection of short fiction is accompanied by poetry and selected dream accounts of the author.



Publié par
Date de parution 18 décembre 2022
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781663249111
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0200€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


The Flapper
The Rules of Poetry

Under A Butterscotch Sky




Copyright © 2022 Susan Knier.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

1663 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403

Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.

Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Getty Images are models, and such images are being used for illustrative purposes only.
Certain stock imagery © Getty Images.

ISBN: 978-1-6632-4910-4 (sc)
ISBN: 978-1-6632-4911-1 (e)

iUniverse rev. date: 12/16/2022

Stroll In The Garden
The Little Things
Acting Lessons At The Booth Street Tavern
Humble Impact
Hearing Things
Missing Out
The Family Member
Good Samaritan Redux
Growth Factor
Matins And Lauds
The Future Patrol
Pure Hell
Open House
I Stand On Your Shoulders
Dealership Of Doppelgangers
The Touchstone
Dear Diary
Warm Welcome
The Mystery Of Fate
The Poisoned Tongue
Saving Grace
Magnetic North
Gone Fishing
Sun And Shadows
The Audition
Under A Butterscotch Sky
The Cinema Of Life
Night, Alert
Sarasota: 7-15-74
Predictions, Predictions
Bringing On The Harm
What I Believe: The Intangibles
The Inevitability Of Jumping The Shark
January Sky
Sport Imitating Life
Dear Candidate For Anything
Ode To Work, With Clarification
Two Brethren, Not Often Compared
On The Nature Of Dreams
Life Like A Feather
Accurate Memory?
Meta World
On Confinement, Part I
On Confinement, Part II
Only Beginnings
We Can’t Talk (In The Usual Sense)
Adulthood: Challenging The Arrangement
Art Experiment
Quiet Demise
Saturday, 2:08 Pm, Outside Of Food Lion
The Answer?
Sacred Things, Age 86
Like The Ancients
Alternate Constellations
Really Home
Friendship Casserole
Laboring For Gestalt
Dream Attributed To A Sinner
Get Thee To A Nunnery
Gladys Presley Lookalike: Keep Calm And Carry On!
The Texture Hunt
The Grief Express
Of Presidents And Pizzas
The Ice Raft
Tapping, Slapping And Pounding
Nuptials At The Judd’s
Eight Feet Under
Terror On A 5K
The Ecclesiastical Perpetual Motion Machine
Missed Reading: You Snooze, You Lose
Rafting And Promises
Chin Up Defiance
Drone, Drone, Go Away!
Knock-Off, Unauthorized
Short Goodbyes And Work Manifestos
Cheeseburger In Desolation
Rightful Owner
Pulseless And Non-Breathing
The Final Day Of Lifelong Learning
The Deviant Anemone
Precarious Facades
The Close One
The Evasion Of Danger And Stereotypes
Sharing Is Caring
A Navel-Gazing Light Lunch In An Age Of Increasing Specialization
Under Attack
A Party To Disaster
Happy Days In The Woods
Death Of A Lake
The Skeleton Is Everything
The Numbers Game
Attempting A Paltry And Pitiful Picnic
Uncomfortable Blessings And Unusual Graces: Turning The Other Cheek
Quest For Information (Rumors Will Do)
Hidden Hobbies
Fire On The Moor
Q & A
Getting Ready

Short Fiction

Stroll In The Garden
Albert Hawkins was coughing again as he pulled into his client’s driveway. As he turned off the ignition, he simultaneously stabbed out the twelfth cigarette of the morning.
As Albert stopped to expectorate a small bundle of tar-stained phlegm into a tissue, he looked up at the modest mid-century ranch home. Evergreens surrounded it on the sides and a greenhouse was attached at the back.
Albert retrieved his briefcase from the passenger seat and stifled another cough as he ascended the front steps to ring the doorbell. This was the home of Dr. Alma Cauldwell, a retired professor of Ancient History. Up until last year, she had shared the home with Roy, her husband of 56 years and also a retired professor but of the American History persuasion. Roy had sustained a heart attack that made Alma a widow in the wee hours of a Sunday morning six months ago. Their only son was a cardiac surgeon 1500 miles away in San Francisco.
Albert’s fist was still pressed to his mouth suppressing another cough when the door opened to reveal his law client of 38 years. Alma wore a simple spring dress, her blue eyes alert as ever behind a pair of cheaters on a classic librarian-style chain. She grasped a cane in one hand and Albert’s hand in the other as she welcomed him in.
“Albert, so good to see you!” she said in her warm, quiet voice.
Albert smiled and regarded the parlor, overrun with books as always. Two bookcases on opposite walls were clearly beyond capacity. Books also stood stacked on the floral print sofa and the three wingback chairs.
“Let me clear a spot for you,” Alma said as she transferred a stack of books from one wingback chair to another. Then she squeezed in on the sofa as Albert seated himself in the chair.
“I’m reading compulsively as usual!” Alma laughed. “Retirement and widowhood are a perfect storm of opportunity for one’s reading at leisure. I’m actually rereading ‘The Aeneid.’ Have you ever read it?”
Albert sheepishly shook his head. “Alma, you know I’m pretty low brow when it comes to reading. Sports pages. Maybe a black ops novel or two a year.”
“And, as an attorney, plenty of work-related reading,” Alma posed.
Albert nodded slowly in agreement. One of his legal specialties was in helping clients establish wills and trusts. “So how’ve you been?” he asked Alma as he unlatched his briefcase to retrieve a document.
“Oh, well, without Roy, it’s been a sad series of adjustments. Sudden cardiac deaths are mercifully quick for the person involved but every day I think of a loose end…something I never got to tell Roy… Even after 56 years of marriage, we hadn’t exhausted all of our adventures!”
Albert again nodded, this time to project sympathy. “How do you spend your days, besides the obvious?” He placed his hand on top of Alma’s copy of Virgil’s Aeneid as he said this.
“I garden in the greenhouse. I cook. I journal. I’m thinking of writing another book about women in antiquity, so I’ve started to organize some old lecture notes…” She paused. “Oh! And I walk. Two miles a day!” Alma was visibly proud of her last statement, given her continued use of a cane since a hip replacement three years earlier.
“You stay busy,” Albert remarked. “Well, I suppose we should talk about the task at hand. Last time we met, you made some changes in your trust. I brought two revised copies for your review. If you approve, you can pass one along to Len.” Len, of course, was Alma’s son and sole successor trustee. Albert handed the documentation to Alma as she adjusted her glasses.
Silence predominated in the room as Alma inspected the newly revised trust document, the only sounds being the intermittent rustling of pages and the steady, hollow ticking of the grandfather clock. Albert could feel another cough rising in his chest. He closed his eyes and forced a dry swallow to avert it. But in the next instant he found himself in the midst of a barking, congested rattle that sounded not unlike a toilet flushing.
Alma looked up from the sofa at him in almost motherly concern. “Albert, are you okay?”
Albert could feel the color rising in his cheeks as he tried to wave off her concern.
“Let me get you a drink of water,” Alma said, quickly depositing the papers on the coffee table at her knees and exiting on her cane to the kitchen.
“Thank you,” rasped Albert moments later as he guzzled the water.
“Albert, you’ve been coughing more every time I see you.”
“Aw, it’s just a stupid smoker’s cough,” Albert replied as he continued to try to shake her concern.
Alma stared at him unconvinced. “You should see a doctor,” she began cautiously.
“I have a physical next month,” Albert said as he dabbed his lips with a tissue.
Alma sighed and gathered the trust document into a neat sheaf. “Well, I approve the revision. The language is exactly what I wanted.”
They continued with signatures as Albert smiled in satisfaction. He then gathered his briefcase and stood, extending a hand to Alma.
Alma remained seated on the couch. She regarded him plaintively. “Can you stay for a little while?” she asked almost timidly.
Albert shrugged.
Alma gestured toward the back of the house. “You’ve never seen the greenhouse. We can take a walk in there and see my garden.”

Albert felt his cough-aggrieved lungs relax as he inhaled the fragrant, humid air in Alma’s greenhouse. Alma proudly pointed out various varieties of plants and f

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