Orchid Petals Blog

Short Stories

I Was Born With a Heart of Glass

When I was born in 1950, Beaver Valley was already in decline, although I never knew it growing up with steel mills, factories, bustling commerce, and thriving main street shops. Communities fanned out from the concourse of the Beaver and Ohio Rivers and spread out...

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The Reappearance of William Becker

(I submitted this story for a seminar on Nathaniel Hawthorne when I was a graduate student at Penn State University in 1973. Although it is a conscious attempt to imitate the style and themes of the 19th century author, the story is original.) Many years ago, when the...

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In August, It’s Goodbye to the Grackles

My husband and I are tired of the flocks of grackles and starlings that have inundated the bird feeders in our suburban home since April. During that time, we saw the starlings gather at our suet blocks, making rude, raucous noises and tearing at the suet like...

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Here’s a Prayer for My Anxious Heart

I feel you, Lord, in the loveliness of the trees, the golden red foliage, the ruddy, plump fruit, the feathery seedlings scattering along the wind, burst forth from their pods, the brown, nutty berries clinging loosely to their branches. Your presence is with me in...

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The Childish Art of Making War

I had a great childhood. When I was five, we moved to the country. Our house was near the bottom of a black-topped country road that meandered from one major artery to the next. There were six houses in our neighborhood, and five of them contained children. We were a...

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