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R. Harlan Smith
Watercolorist - Writer "You can only get so far away from something until any farther doesn't make a damned bit of difference."
Watercolorist - Writer "You can only get so far away from something until any farther doesn't make a damned bit of difference."

R. Harlan Smith's posts

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Ah, how sweet the ache of nostalgia;
the fragrances of flowers and burning leaves,
sensations of remorse and regret,
snowy skies and fireflies.
Like childhood prayers and fairy tales,
I remember them yet.
Until I pass, I quit life's lease,
my past shall never rest in peace. 

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ebook .99 cents Paperback $6.00
an R. Harlan Smith book

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*Excerpt : Donny Wilder WIP

I stopped at The Garden. One more beer before I went home wouldn’t hurt. The band had quit for the night and the lights for the bandstand and the dance floor were dimmed. I sat at the bar. The waitress I had talked to the last time was tending bar.
“You again,” she said. “You don’t look so good.”
“It’s been a long day.”
“Mm-hm. What’re you drinkin’?”
“I’ll have a glass.”
She poured a glass with a perfect head and set it on a napkin. “You just missed that beauty who bought you a round last time you were here.”
She smiled, shaking her head. “You’re a hard one, Donny Wilder. That’s a buck-fifty.”
I gave her two bucks. “Keep the change.”
“I was gonna,” she said. “Watch it, you’re about to have company.”
I watched in the mirrored wall behind the bottles across from me as Bledsoe slithered onto the stool beside me.
“How y’doin’, Wilder?”
He had put on weight. He was no longer the varsity warrior he used to be. He was willing to struggle, but no longer prepared to do battle. His body, a blob of flesh that had been put out to a pasture of self-indulgence, had become a stranger to him.
“What do you, want, Bledsoe?”
He lowered his voice and began to curse me, blaming me for everything that happened to Julie. I had driven her to it, he insisted in the most bitter terms. He was convinced if she had stayed with him, none of that would have come about. If I hadn’t come along…
“Shut up, Bledsoe. Shut – up.”
The waitress was watching from the other end of the bar. She looked worried.
He followed me out as I left the bar and headed for my truck, all the while needling me, cursing me. He shouldn’t have done that. Then he planted himself between me and the door of my truck, poking my chest, driving each bitter epithet home with his finger. He shouldn’t have done that, either. I grabbed his arm with a twist and slammed him to the ground with all my strength. I twisted slowly so I could listen to his groaning change to a squeal as his arm popped out of its socket.
“Bledsoe, you’re a fool. You have no idea what an angel she was when it began, or what a monster she had become when it ended.”
The waitress was watching from the entrance, her hand on her hip, her head cocked to one side. I threw Bledsoe’s crippled arm to the ground and kicked it close to his body. I wondered what she would have to say to the police. I drove off, leaving him moaning in the gravel.
Bledsoe had no idea of his good fortune. I had never taken a man down before without killing him. It was war in those days. It was open season on those people. I had been given the power of life or death. Everything that goes on in the jungle is survival of the fittest, even war. I enjoyed killing them, through my cross hairs or by hand with no fear of retribution. It was peculiar to me now, the man I most wanted to kill I was now obliged to leave breathing. Killing is… a strange business; much more so than dying, I would say.


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I closed the door, silently.
He went, dragged himself, silently to his car,
drove away, silently, his fingers to his lips.
The house fell silent;
our furniture,
our walls,
our plants,
Our little fur person sighed in wide-eyed cat silence.
No more weekend mornings.
No more I love you.
No more anything.

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One of the beautiful women in my life
Sometime in the 80s. Who knows when?

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I don't regret untimely death,
nor laboring through birth again.
My one regret
I may not get
a chance to see the earth again. 

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Nat KIng Cole offers a pleasant suggestion.

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What was in Anna Kalupski's gift?
Thousands of dollars from her deceased lover?
Scandalous photos, threatening a prominent doctor's reputation?
A sharp stick in the eye for five greedy individuals?
Or simply a test of Farley's integrity and loyalty?
You can't even imagine everyone's surprise.
An R. Harlan Smith mystery.

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The melody line here is so beautiful. I can't resist.
Terrific young musicians
Reminiscent of Tony Bennett's "Stranger in Paradise"

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If you like Philip Marlowe, this is an excellent series.
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