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Chapter 1

     The Story The Authors
It was not an easy thing being Geraldine. In fact, if you really looked closely and scientifically at it, it was hard to imagine anything more difficult than a rainy Wednesday of being Geraldine, for twenty-four consecutive hours, even while sleeping. Philip
She stared into the mirror, ran her fingers through the spiky, bleached lawn of her hair, and posed a pout, a deep frown, a cherubic smile, and a callous raspberry, not necessarily in that order. Then listening to make sure her parents really were asleep, she prised open the bathroom window with spylike quietude, climbed out onto the acorn-strewn roof of the garage, shut the window almost but not completely, and slid down the roof on her bum to its edge, where she grasped the conveniently-placed limb of a trusty old oak tree and leapt into the night.
"I am Geraldine and that's my name so don't call me pis-ta-shee-o!" she mouthed as silently as she leapt as she'd screamed it loudly when she was a girl and they used to play that game.
Philip
She hit the ground with a dull thud of her thick soled sneakers with a quick glance back up towards her parent's window. No lights. Coast was clear.
Nimbly skirting a garden hose and the garbage cans she whisked around the corner of the house to retrieve the carefully stashed six pack of Old Milwaukee from its hiding place behind the rhododendrons in the cellar window well. It was going to be kind of lukewarm, but beer was beer. She still couldn't believe that she'd managed to connive Sissy's older brother into buying it for her. But she wasn't about to question his motives now, she had a party to go to.
One last glance at the house and she set off into the woods heading for the cemetary.
Lanark
Simple enough, they met in a bar. It was a dingy, dark place. Old cigarette smoke clung for dear life from every light fixture in the place betraying the fact that there was no dimmer switch for the lighting. The bar itself was laid out as a rectangle, with several bartenders constantly playing surgeon with its liquid dispensing glass and hose innards. It had been an ordinary enough night. Anthony had left his eight hour sojourn in hell to slake his thirst at his favorite bar. He went hoping to find a couple of his friends there. He walked in and was promptly carded, though he was a regular, by the new doorman. After showing his i.d. he walked up to the bar and took a seat at one of the three-legged stool/chairs. Terry, the bleach-blonde bartender, saw Anthony and poured him a twenty-five ounce lite draft, his usual. Terry dispensed a couple more drinks and then took a spot down by Anthony to wash some glasses, and get the latest jokes from Anthony. One of his dreams was to be a comedian, so one day, after working up a good repoire with Terry, he started telling her bits of his routine that he was working on. She loved it, though some was, very vulgar. She laughed great belly laughs at his humor which mocked most of what he thought was wrong with society. From government to capitalism to childhood rearing, he joked about everything. None of his friends were there, so Anthony sat at the bar talking to Terry. From across the bar Anthony spotted an angel. She stood waiting for drink. Her dark brown tresses beautifully framed her cherubic face. She looked across the bar at Anthony, and he diverted his eyes. He was slightly xenophobic, so his glances were constantly averted. As he turned his eyes away, she followed them. It was a childish stare-down contest, which he would hopelessly lose. After he knew that he had caught her eye, he quickly buried his face in his drink, and when he looked up again she had disappeared. Anthony sat hoping for Terry to return so he could continue with his comedy. Just as he was pressing his beer to his lips, he felt a slight tap on his shoulder. "Hello", she said as he looked up to get trapped in her eyes. "Hello", he slowly stuttered, but he quickly shut his mouth in fear that he might scare her away. "I couldn't help but notice you and the empty seat next to you from across the bar may I sit for a while?" "Sure", he said with more than a glimmer of happiness in his voice. "I am Anthony." She held out her hand to make the introduction formal. "Anthony", she repeated, "As in the saint?" "I guess", he said hoping his thinly veiled lie would hold up. "I'm Sarah", she said. Anthony had to bit his tongue to keep from mimicking her query on biblical significance of names. They talked for a while among the more banal things of life. The music in the place started to move people. "Would you like to dance?", she asked with a sly smile. "Yes", he replied, not willing to pass up the chance to be in close proximity of someone so surely from heaven. They left their drinks and headed to the dancing area of the bar. She took him by the hand to lead him there. Michael Dzioba


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