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Daniel S. McTaggart

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Code Blue - a writer's guide to hospitals, including the ER,
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March of Decades
By Daniel S. McTaggart
Monday, December 18, 2006

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Recent stories by Daniel S. McTaggart
· Truckstop Love Letter
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What happens when an old lady finds the Philosopher's Stone in a Pennsylvania field?

An old lady went on an excursion through grassy meadows in southwestern Pennsylvania. Her intent was to find stones for bordering groups of flowers in her garden. One of these stones was the Philosopher's Stone.

Not as burnished or bejewelled as one might expect, but still bearing a unique amber hue. Despite the grit caked upon it through a sedentary march of decades.

The old lady placed the Philosopher's Stone in a corral surrounding some pansies. From the center of which later grew a pair of yellow tulips. An even she relegated to a bulb or two she must have forgotten about. Though none had ever been planted there.

The flower garden flourished over time. And the family, whose visits had become increasingly sparse, felt somehow comopelled to drop by more frequently. And if, on their way to their matriarch's doorstep, they lingered longer than intended by the garden, no one made a point of contention. They simply proceeded down the sidewalk to the house. Seating at a formerly barren table, made warm once again with the blanket of family.

The 85-year-old grandmother smiled widely. An amber tear running down her cheek. She lived another twenty years. Enjoying the gatherings of her children and grandchildren. Enjoying her grandchildren's grandchildren. Passing away one winter morning, embalmed by the breath of a thousand butterfly kisses.

Her family moved through the house, cradling memories in their hands. None of them able to leave without a piece of the home rooted in their hearts.

Outside, the flower garden seemed to flicker slightly. None of the departing relatives seemed to notice it. Except for the youngest great-granddaughter. She approached a circle of stones and removed her favorite one.

The one that always caught her eye.

The one bearing a unique amber hue. Despite the grit caked upon it through a sedentary march of decades.

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Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 9/28/2007
Great story, Daniel; very well done! :)
Reviewed by William DeVault 12/18/2006
I like the flow and the images. Nice work.

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