"Right," Dud said. He was trying to remember what he'd written down
as a promise to himself. Right after dinner is a bad time to be
disappointed. "I can't remember where we put them," he said, picking
up the Weekly Valley Miracle.
"They're in my desk, silly," Anita
said, brightly. "I'll go get them."
Dud put the paper down and looked out the window at the snow
where the lawn should be. He felt a little dread coming on. Not a
big one, just a regular shrug-of-the-shoulders kind of dread. Do we
always promise ourselves the moon and deliver a light bulb?
"Here we go," Anita said, tossing Dud's envelope in his lap. "You
want me to read mine first?"
"You mean out loud?"
He grimaced and watched as she opened hers. "OK," she said. "I
promised I'd learn to bake sourdough bread this year and I did. And
I promised I'd join the Ladies Literary League and I did that. In
May, I think. And I promised I'd straighten out the filing system
down at the office. Took me until August, but I got that, too,
Honey. OK. Your turn."
[to top of second
Dud opened the envelope. He unfolded the paper carefully.
"Do I have to read all of them? You sure? Well, I promised to
memorize the 'Julida Polka' on my accordion."
"And you did."
"Yes. Yes I did. And I promised to build that birdhouse by the
"Yep. There's No. 2."
He sat quietly. "Well, Honey, I promised myself I'd finish
writing that murder mystery. You know... 'Murder in the Soggy
"'The Duchess and the Truck Driver'? Sure."
"I'm nowhere near getting that thing done."
"Some people take years to write books. I read the other day it
took Max Evans more than 30 years to write 'Bluefeather Fellini.'"
Dud smiled sadly, and nodded. "That's true, I guess."
Yes, he thought, but this book of mine isn't "Bluefeather Fellini."
Maybe by next year.
[Text from file received from Slim Randles]
Brought to you by "Raven's Prey," Slim Randles' thriller set in
the Alaska bush. See it at