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André Gouyneau

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My little shop is tucked away, frozen to the spot at a snow-covered corner of the road, Few are the warmly wrapped up clients who ven...
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mila hasan

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Assalamu’alaikum Wr. Wb. Respectable the commitee of story telling contest Honorable the juries and the funny audiences who i do love. Firstly,before telling you a funny story i’d like to say thank you very much for the ch...
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Rushabh Shukla

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रोते-रोते अब मेरी उम्र हो गयी,लेकिन तुझे याद मेरी आयी नहीं !
तू भले ही चला गया मुझे छोड़ कर, यादे तेरी अब तक मिटाई नहीं !!

ऋषभ शुक्ला
kahaniyadilse.blogspot.com
hindikavitamanch.blogspot.com
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Seth Gumbs

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I didn't want my short stories to collect digital dust in the digital wasteland of my computer. I brought them to life by turning them into audio dramas. Here's the audio trailer for my audiobook "Random". Take a listen.

http://youtu.be/wdEATxuCOQA
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Robert Feld

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The Boy, the Tomboy, and the Greenhouse. 

I met the tomboy when I was a kid - sorry, darling, but you have to admit you loved playing a boy when you were a kid. At the time I didn’t know what a tomboy was, so I was quite young, and I didn’t know or care about boys and girls not mixing the way we did on that day, but I do remember how much fun the pair of us had when we met at the farmhouse all those years ago. My wife is the tomboy, in case you haven’t already made that deduction, this is the story of how we met, got separated, and then met again years later. 

My mom and I often went to the farmhouse to buy some fresh eggs and milk because they were better quality than what you found in supermarkets, and during the summer we picked rasberries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries and had themwith thick clotted cream. That was a long time ago, and the farmhouse has closed. My mom has been growing her own berries in our garden, but nowhere near the level of the farmhouse. Back to the story, I was bouncing in my car seat with the belt wrapped around my thin body. Soon as mom stopped the car, she unstrapped me from my seat belt and I jumped out of the car with her help. I took a deep breath, the smell of fruit in the sun wafted through my nostrils, it was like the fruits themselves had been pulped and turned into a soup, boiled by the heat from the sun before the wind blew the sweet aromas through the air like the smoke from a bonfire. Looking back on that memory, I still remember the scents I smelt that day, and when we came to this farmhouse. In my opinion, nature had it right.  It was a beautiful day, not a cloud or a plane in sight, the sun bright and cheerful as the birds chirped in the air as they flew, boundless of the constraints of people. 
“ Hm, hmm,” the sound of my mother clearing her throat broke through my thoughts, and I ran towards her as she stood close by patiently, foot idly tapping on the ground. I could tell she wasn’t mad with me for keeping her waiting, she knew perfectly well how much I loved this place. She loved it too, but adults are like that, and now I’m one myself I understand how hard it is to keep my children’s attention. But I wish the farmhouse was here still, I would have loved to have shown my children. Okay, my wife is getting irritated I’m not carrying on with the plot of my story, so I get back to the point. 
 I grabbed my mom’s hand, and we walked into the fields where there were berry plants and we started to pick them and put them into baskets. I loved those baskets, they reminded me of the warmth of the place. Mom was dressed in a shirt and trousers, like I was. It wasn’t hard work,
mom told jokes as we picked our berries, we laughed even iun the hot sweaty air but it didn’t bother us. We were enjoying ourselves, and having fun.

I noticed right away we weren’t heading for the checkout where the ladies would put our berries in boxes to take away, we weren’t going to the beehives for honey. No, we were heading for the greenhouses. As if sensing my thoughts, mom smiled down at me as she wheeled the trolley holding the baskets of fruit towards the glass building. 
“ Sweetheart, we’re buying some tomatoes today.” She said as we entered the greenhouses, where mom asked someone about the best tomato plants to pick from. I wandered off she told me to,
 “ Stay out of trouble. I don’t want to find a window broken, understand young man?” She eyed me sternly, I gulped and nodded. Getting on my mother’s side is like prodding a sleeping tiger, just asking for trouble. Mom smiled, “ Go on, sweetheart. But don’t get lost.” 

I’d never been to the greenhouses before, and there were dozens of them. Some had tomato plants, some didn’t. Those that did but had no tomatoes were locked, until the tomatoes would turn from small green round objects into ripe, healthy red tomatoes making the stalks beg for someone to take the weighty strain off. 
I explored with the wide eyed look of an explorer, I opened a greenhouse, it was hot and smelt strongly of plants and compost, I didn’t mind. In my opinion, it should be let out into the wide world and allowed to mix in the air. 
As I walked around the place, looking at the big flowerpots holding the soil nurturing the tomato plants, I realised quickly I wasn’t alone. Staring at me, I could see of her behind a table, was a girl, but not a girl I’d seen before at school. I was too young to know the difference between a tomboy and a girl, not that I cared. Realising I knew she was there, the girl stepped out. Like me she was dressed in trousers and a shirt, but her hair was short instead of long, and I was at the age where I thought girls of all ages wore their hair long in a pony tail. There was a spider next to her, but she didn’t scream, though she knew it was there. 
“ Hi.” She said, looking me over curiously, there were no other kids. 
 But oh, damn it’s so hard thinking as a kid again. My wife wants a go at writing this part of the story. For the next paragraph or so the story will be written by my wife. Go ahead, darling. 

I smirked at my husband as I flex my fingers mockingly, whacking my husband around the head as he rolls his eyes at my antics, pushing him out of the chair sitting in front of the computer. 
I remember that moment. I was trying to get away from my mother, who was only here to look around and maybe buy something, I ran away from her when she was distracted, I was trying to escape. Maybe I’d become a pirate, setting sail and plundering the seven seas instead of the princess she wanted me to be, I was not the perfect little lady, as she so eloquently phrased it. Mother always wanted me dressing up as a princess you read about in fairytales and in Disney films like Sleeping Beauty, but neither of those girls had a mother as pushy as mine.
Why me, I often asked myself, I’d finally sought refuge in the greenhouse. I’d been here for a short time, when I heard the door open, I was terrified it was my mother, I hid myself behind some tables and the tomato plants, and watched. It wasn’t mom, it was this tiny boy, a tiny, thin boy. 
He looked around the greenhouse, then he saw me somehow. How could he? Then I realise that unlike mother, who didn’t have an ounce of imagination about the sorts of places I can hide myself in, but he did. Then it struck me, he wasn’t looking for me, he’d seen me just by chance. 
Then again, none of this occurred to me at the time, but what did occur to me was the need to step out of hiding. 
“ Hi.” I said, looking over him, apprehensive. I was used to dealing with moronic boys. Most of the boys I’d met where like how my husband stupidly described them before turning over the writing to me, annoying loud mouths. But boys were no better. Noisy, nosy, smelly - you did ask for it, dear, when you said that about pigtails. The boy, to my surprise, smiled. Maybe he was different afterall. 


My husband frowned in mock anger. “ Is that why you were interested in me, because I wasn’t like the other boys?”
I laughed, touching his face. “ Yes, all the boys I knew laughed at me because I wanted to be like them. Can I get back to the story, by any chance?” She asked. 
He laughed himself. “ Okay, but how about we write it together?”
I nodded and smiled like a child, he went and grabbed a chair. 


As we’re now writing this story together, we can add our own points of view without needing to take it in turns, at least not often. The boy reached out his hand, and the girl grasped it with a wide smile. “ I’m Katie.”
“ Matthew.” The boy replied with a smile. 
“ So Matthew, what’re you doing in the greenhouse?” Katie asked, dropping her hand, Matthew shrugged, hands into his pockets. “ I’m just exploring as my mom’s buying tomatoes, I’ve never been around here before.”
Katie smiled shyly. “ I’ve always loved exploring. Where shall we go next?” She asked hopefully. 
Matthew had never heard of a girl who’d wanted to explore before, then again he didn’t know that many girls. “ I dunno, but I can’t get lost. Mom would go mad.”
Katie frowned. “ Me neither, mother would ground me.” My face scrunched up at that, grounding was something my parents would never do to me, not even that time when I accidentally closed the door trapping my fathers hand. I told her this and she laughed but didn’t at the time.
“ You’re lucky.” Katie replied. 
Matthew decided to change the subject. “ You wanna come play with me?”
“ Yes.”

I smile sadly as I remember how I tried to play games with the boys of my neighbourhood. My mother and simpering sister who would always tell mother what I was doing they frowned on me playing games like tag or riding a bike around the neighbourhood, or playing football. It wasn’t specifically my fault or indeed mother’s, it was more the way mother herself had been raised as a child. She was of the type who believed, because that was what my grandmother had thought, boys and girls should not mix even after all the changes nowadays. For my mother it had always been piano lessons, knitting, and all the other work around the house. A woman’s place is in the home, as my mother had drilled into her head, and what she drilled into my head, or failed to do with me but succeeded with my sister. 
I never would agree to that, Matthew and I have been married for years we have done our fair share around the house, take turns. We make a good team, Matthew does the cooking because I’m atrocious, and can’t even boil water, I do basic house cleaning whilst he tends to the cooking. 
We don’t bother with the garden. Like my husband, I loved the farmhouse on first sight, and it looked beautiful. We don’t go for the hype of being normal and dressing our gardens and treat them as competition with our neighbours. We treat them as nature intended.

Both children laughed as they left, grabbing each others hands and ran, laughing. There was a playground made specially for children, small fenced off field to play football. It was close by to the cafe and meant to act as a distraction for kids who were impatient, could play games that the owners of the farmhouse had kindly provided. The two laughing, happy children were both noticed by everyone, but no one cared about anything wrong with them being of different sex, something Katie had had to live with for years since she discovered her preference for playing with boy things.  As Katie ran with Matthew, she expected people to frown on her, as the rich and snobby people in her neighbourhood tended to do whenever they saw her play with the wrong sort, as they called people like Matthew. Katie enjoyed outracing Matthew, who took it well. For himself Matthew didn’t mind or care about being outraced by a girl, it was new for him. He was just pleased he had a new friend, and as they ran towards the football pitch, playing with each other, it only got better. Neither Katie or Matthew were good players, they didn’t understand the game in spite of the hype started by impending matches. To them the game was just kicking a ball around, enjoying themselves and their new friendship. 
Like all good things, it had to end, and for Katie it ended too quickly.
“ KATIE! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” A loud voice screeched, both children stopped playing stopped laughing, and turned around. In Matthew’s opinion, Katie was the prettiest between her and her own mother, but there were similarities. Katie’s mother was tall and thin, and as he grew older and thought back to this day with the understanding of basic human anatomy, he would compare this woman with a skeleton. She was pale, her skin was stretched tight and pinched under her immaculate bun of glossy hair - too glossy compared to Katie’s - black hair, the exact shade of her daughters. Her mother’s hair had been put through rigorous appointments at the salon daily it was wonder she still had hair. She looked down her nose at the boy standing right beside her daughter, clearly not liking the company her daughter was in. 


Katie glanced at her husband as she put her hand on his, stopping him from tapping the keys on the keyboard. “ You thought my mother was a skeleton?” She asked archly, her eyes narrowed. 
Matthew shrank back in his chair, trying to make a desperate escape from his wife. Although they had a loving relationship, he always tried to avoid having direct contact with her temper, but he couldn’t escape because Katie’s hand was still on his. Escape was impossible, from the look on her eyes, he could see the steel in them. It was this steel that had attracted him to her when they’d met each other in college. 
“ Well,” he gulped nervously. “ You have to admit she looked like a rake, and the way she looked at me is just...off putting, not to mention the way she spoke to me.”
Katie wasn’t able to suppress her stern, threatening appearance for long, and when she heard the answer she laughed. “ It’s so easy for me to tease you,” she chortled, but when she regained control over herself she looked at her husband thoughtfully, with a teasing smirk on her face. 
“ You’re not half wrong,” she admitted. “ She was always on a diet, and father spoilt her rotten.” And he had. Katie’s father had been a rich businessman, dominated by his wife, he left his children’s upbringing to their mother and barely had time for them as he worked hard to ensure his family received the best of everything.
Katie nodded her head at the computer screen. “ Shall we carry on?” Matthew carried on, when Katie had taken away her hand. 


Katie swallowed. “ Mother, I was just-”
“ Playing games you know you shouldn’t,” her mother finished angrily. She was so focused on her daughter that she didn’t even notice the number of people she’d attracted with her shout. Katie’s mother turned her glare to the little boy next to her own daughter. “ Why are you playing with...him?” She asked, unable to find a proper word to describe the boy. 
Her mother’s derision of her new friend was too much, Katie lost her own temper. “ I was trying to have fun, something you don’t understand. I’m not allowed out of your sight. I have to wear dresses, when all I want is to play. At least boys have fun.”
Katie’s mother, as I remember, did not have a grain of understanding, and she ignored it. She didn’t care what the consequences were, she just reached forward and grabbed her daughter’s hand in a firm grip. In front of Matthew, his new friend was dragged away, and when he got back to his own mother, who had witnessed all of it and was just coming to her son’s defence, he did something he hated doing. 
Matthew started crying. 

Katie and Matthew glanced at each other before taking a break from writing. Katie got some mugs for some strong coffee, and Matthew put some water in the kettle, waited for it to heat up. Katie folded her arms, and Matthew looked at her speculatively. 
“ You never said what your mother did when she got you home after leaving the farmhouse,” he pointed out. 
Katie shrugged before moving herself out of her stance and took a spoon from a drawer and opened the coffee jar. She didn’t speak, she spooned coffee in the two mugs, then she dropped the spoon with a clang into the sink before getting the milk and sugar out. When they were drinking, Katie’s mind was clearly back in the past. Matthew took her gently wrapping an arm around her waist, and hauling her back to the computer room. As they sat down, Katie gently placed her hand on her husbands arm. When Matthew looked at her, the query clear in his eyes, Katie gestured for the keyboard, she started to tapping. 

On the way home, Katie sat in the back, afraid but indifferent to her mother’s mood. On the way home, her mother would just mutter darkly about her daughter seeing the wrong sort, Matthew. In the past Katie would argue, but as they were travelling home in a car, her mother might forget the rules of safety and they might crash into a tree, or another car. 
“ Stupid boy, who does he think he is? Playing with a girl who’s out of his league...,” her mother snarled under her breath. Katie didn’t say a word, too angry to care. The one friend, and mother had to.... She didn’t know what her mother meant, but she got the general gist of it. Out of her two parents, she preferred her father the most because he wasn’t around most of the time to get the full picture of what was going on. Katie got the impression he honestly did not care about who his daughters made friends with, just that they were happy with them, but her mother....
Her mother, as Katie would know in the future as she grew older, was a snob. 
When they got home, Katie was afforded the rare sight of her father’s car in the driveway. When they got in, Katie and her mother were given a shock. Katie’s father was a tall man who dressed in well made suits, but now his tie was loosened, and his jacket was slung on a chair, nursing a glass of brandy, looking ruflled. When he saw his wife and daughter, he told Katie to go upstairs so then he could talk with his wife. Katie was about to argue, when in the corner of her eye she could see her sister sitting on the stairs, out of sight. Katie and her mother hadn’t noticed her because as soon as the door had opened, she’d scuttled upstairs out of sight. Now she was back. Her sister, noting she’d been seen, motioned her to be quiet. Katie glanced back at her father, and said. “ Okay, dad.” Her father was the only parent she was informal with. Her mother, always demanding her to be formal, was too taken aback by the look of utter dejection on her husbands face. When Katie left the room, her father got up and closed the door, not seeing his other daughter sitting on the stairs. 
Through the closed door, the two girls could hear the adults arguing. “ What’s happened, you look like you’ve swallowed a wasp?” Her father asked.  
“ She was playing with some boy. Football, honestly.” Her mother spat. Their mother never spoke, only shrieked or snarled. Her father’s sigh was a rasp. “ Never mind that, darling. We’ve got problems of our own.” His voice was grim. 
“ What do you mean?” Katie would later learn about the word, ominous, and realise that was how her father had sounded, much to her mothers fear.
Their father sighed again. “ The business has collapsed, like I told you it might. It was sold by the owner, today. I was there in the meeting before coming home. I and most of the staff have been made redundant. 
“We don’t have enough money to keep the house, and we need to sell it, along with everything.”
Their mother tried to act as if this was a joke, but both her daughters had inherited more intelligence than their mother. “ It can’t be that bad,” she tried to downplay the gravity of the situation. 
Her husband needed to make her understand this was serious. “ We can sell the house and the things, and we can use the money to start a business somewhere else, but we have to pitch in. I’ve already found a hardware store that’s selling. We can buy it if we’re quick. Our girls will have to go to public schools as we wont have enough money to send them to Private school.” Their mother automatically rejected this. “ They have to learn how to be ladies.”
A scoff came from their father. “ No, they are girls. We’re no longer rich enough to live in this place, but you had to have us live here, didn’t you? We wouldn’t have this trouble if we’d have lived in somewhere simple, and you had to have all those things, didn’t you? Our girls will go to a public school, and that is that. This family has only one chance to remain on top, and the pay may not be what you’re used to now, but its a chance. You’ll have to work as well as the girls, no more of this woman’s place is in the home rubbish.” 
Their mother’s breathing was hitched as everything she’d wanted out of her husbands salary came crashing down into reality. Without their money funding her extravagance, their mother would have to work in a commoners shop, as she called them. 
For the next hour, both girls clung to each other as they listened patiently to their parents.
 
As the years past, the family adapted to their new home, their new beginnings. Katie’s mother adapted too, but slowly, her husband and daughters adapted quickly, she still moped around the small flat above their shop, whining about losing her precious friends. Katie’s father always gave the same answer; they were never friends, they were gold diggers. For the girls the transition from their old lives wasn’t so bad, the pressure was off both of them as they were able to make friends their former social circle would’ve sneered at. Their mother soon got used to their new lifestyle, she had no choice, her husband had forced her to go through hard work at the shop to keep her busy. When she’d messed up deliberately, he’d told her plainly they had little left, if they didn’t have money then they’d be forced out on the street. He may have been bluffing since his references were good, and he was building up a respectable trade, but his wife, so ignorant of real life, didn’t know that. 
After that, she became more docile and horrible. 


Katie’s mother, once someone who prized looks and embraced fashion, once the hostess to a hundred dinner parties, had never seen her daughters so happy in their ordinary life. As the two girls grew up and became teenagers, she was forced to work with them.The girls soon realised they would never live in a massive and cold mansion house, and that suited them fine. For Katie, it was because as she grew older to do things that were seen as unladylike, and her sister it was she could make friends more easily. 
Both girls worked at the same shift as their parents when they weren’t doing homework, and during those years the memory of the boy in the greenhouse was a near faded memory on the edge of her  mind, but it was still there. The memory of her first friend would make an unexpected comeback when she least expected it. 

The reunion came when the two of them were in college, in the same class. Both of them were studying art, and they were made to sit next together, although they looked older both of them recognised each other, but they could not remember where. Over the next few months, their friendship grew, when Katie was invited to dinner, it wasn’t Matthew of even Katie who made the revelation. 
It was Matthew’s mother. 
When the two of them realised it, they could not believe it, and for the rest of that night Katie and Matthew exchanged stories of what’d happened when they’d grown up. Katie told them about her family’s fall from grace, how they were doing well with a hardware business they’d bought, and how she was happy with a normal life. 
Matthew told her about how he’d moved on, and how he’d discovered his talent in art, and was selling paintings to a gallery, while working at college. After that night, the two of them became closer, they were married in two years after getting to truly know each other from that single meeting in the greenhouse. Katie’s mother, having grown up over the years, in many ways now saw her daughter’s life was not hers, she doted on her grandchildren. She argued often with Matthew’s mother, though they soon became real friends. 
As the two newly weds grew into their new life as husband and wife, Katie became pregnant and gave birth to twins, a boy and girl called Daniel and Danielle. Both of them were the image of their parents. Danielle turned her nose up at her grandmother’s unsuccessful attempts to turn her into something she wasn’t, something she’d inherited from Katie. Even now Katie’s mother hadn’t lost her ambition to turn her blood into ladies, but was used to their objections. 
Daniel was a rambunctious but serious child, who loved life, an artistic soul, who turned his imagination to words instead of pictures, and he wrote incredible poems and stories, magical tales. 

When the story was finished, Matthew leant back and turned to face his beautiful wife. She smiled,  they kissed, the story of the Boy, the tomboy, and the Greenhouse was over, in it were changes of lives, but the one thing which would never change was how simple their first meeting had been, a story their children would never forget. 
Danielle often asked herself if she would meet her future husband in a greenhouse. 
“ We’re going to the farmshop, who’s coming?” 

One of my short stories. Please tell me what you think. 
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YourStoryClub
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This Short Story is selected as Editor's Choice.
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YourStoryClub
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Discussion  - 
 
This short story is selected as Editor's Choice
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YourStoryClub
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This short story is selected as Editor's Choice
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YourStoryClub
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This short story on prostitution is selected as Editor's Choice
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YourStoryClub
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Editor's Choice: Short Story on Faith
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Created by

Alex Johnson

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15 minutes till their ground breaking app is revealed to the world... And, the system behind it just went down.
Find out how the creator of this app reacts in this week's ‪Thousand Word Blog‬!
Gregory chewed into the nail of his index finger as he impatiently stared at the phone sitting in his lap. Any second now, an email would be coming in...
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Rushabh Shukla

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रोते-रोते अब मेरी उम्र हो गयी,लेकिन तुझे याद मेरी आयी नहीं !
तू भले ही चला गया मुझे छोड़ कर, यादे तेरी अब तक मिटाई नहीं !!

ऋषभ शुक्ला
kahaniyadilse.blogspot.com
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Lauren Dinkens

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Will she risk everything or deliver her signature kiss of death? https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/467217
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YourStoryClub
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This Short Story is selected as Editor's Choice.
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YourStoryClub
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This Short Story is selected as Editor's Choice.
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YourStoryClub
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This story on drunken driving is selected as Editor’s Choice
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YourStoryClub
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This love short story is selected as Editor's Choice
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YourStoryClub
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Tell your kids Die Hexe's story today http://yourstoryclub.com/story-tag/die-hexe/
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