Shade

Shade

A Story by Jacob Clifford

Jon approached the counter. “I found this in the bathroom.”

The kid behind the counter looked up from his phone. His nametag read Eric. “Oh?” he asked, smiling politely. He had an acne-ridden face and a mop of curly red hair that dangled in his eyes.

Through the window behind Eric, Jon saw a couple approaching the gas station. He willed them to keep walking, and they did. He almost sighed in relief. He did not want to travel around town looking for another empty store.

Jon wiped his brow and held up a pearl necklace. “It was just sitting there, in the sink.” He set it on the counter and looked at it appraisingly, rubbing his jawline. “Sure looks nice,” he mumbled. “Does the store have a lost and found, or anything like that?”

Eric gave the necklace a disinterested glance. “Yep. It’s behind the counter.” He cleared his throat and recited in a monotone: “You can leave it here and give us your number. If no one claims it in ten business days, it’s yours.”

Jon laughed once. “Thanks, kid, but I don’t think I’ll need it for anything. If no one comes for it, I  don’t want it either.” He looked back at the necklace. He furrowed his eyebrows. “Then again, it does look really expensive.” He clicked his tongue, mentally willing his neck not to flush. “Yeah, sure. I’ll leave my numb - oh! I completely forgot why I came in here in the first place.” He whistled lightly and walked over to the refrigerator section. He browsed for a moment, picked out a bottle of water, and returned to the counter.

“That’ll be one-oh-four,” Eric said.

Jon fished a ten out of his wallet. He smiled at someone outside and waved. Just as Eric was counting out his change, the store’s phone rang.

“Excuse me,” Eric said. He picked up the phone.

“No problem.” Jon's lips threatened to turn upward and betray him. Leave it to a teenager to ignore the flesh-and-blood person in front of him in favor of a phone. This was going better than he expected.

Jon gave the store another idle once-over He pulled out a hand and examined his nails. He noticed his hand was shaking and quickly lowered it, glancing at Eric. The kid was studying something on the floor as he listened to the other line.

“Yep, we’ll still be open.” Eric paused. A familiar voice carried faintly from the phone. “Uh, you too. Bye.” He hung up and looked at Jon. “It’s your lucky day, man.”

Jon raised an eyebrow. “Is it, now? How do you figure?”

“That guy on the phone just called about his missing pearl necklace.” Eric nodded at the jewelry on the counter. “He said he bought it for his fiancée and is offering a two hundred dollar reward to whoever finds it.” He smiled. “Pretty lucky, right?”

Jon didn’t immediately answer; it was difficult to speak through the lump in his throat. He found himself studying his shaky hand and covered by scratching his nose. “Did he say how soon he’ll be here?” he finally asked.

“Yes, actually. He said he’ll be down in around twenty minutes.”

Jon sighed, looking at his watch. He ran a hand through his hair. “That, uh, that doesn’t work for me. I have a job interview across town in fifteen minutes.” Jon looked at the necklace. “Hmm. Hey, buddy. Would you want to help me out with this?”

“How do you mean?”

“Well,” Jon began slowly, “I could leave the necklace here, and we split the reward.” He frowned and mumbled, “But how would that work?” He trailed off and rubbed the back of his neck. His gaze fell on the cash register.

Eric’s eyes lit up. “Oh! I could give you a hundred dollars, and then I give the necklace to that guy when he gets here, and he gives me the two hundred.” Almost as an afterthought, he added: “That way we both win, right?”

After a moment of feigned thought, Jon shrugged. “Fine with me. So, what? You just carry that kind of cash around with you?”

Eric tapped his knuckles on the counter and seemed unable to meet Jon's eye. “I could take it from the cash register. When that guy gives me that two hundred, I can replace what I gave you.”

Jon was silent for a moment. Could the kid hear Jon's heart pounding? “Seems kinda sketchy to me.” He looked at his watch, saw nothing, and scowled. “Sure, fine.”

Eric popped open the register. His face fell. "Uh, we don’t have any hundreds."

"Doesn’t matter to me." Jon twisted the water bottle's cap off. On. Off. "Tens, twenties, fives. Whatever you have is fine."

The kid nodded and counted out a handful of bills. He hesitated, looking between Jon and the necklace. Jon could practically see the gears churning.

"I, um . . . I really don’t think I should be doing this," Eric said.

“That’s fine. You don’t need to give me anything. I’ll give you my number, take the necklace, and leave. When that guy comes to pick it up, you can have him call me. Later, of course, because I don’t want to be interrupted during my interview.” He stepped away from the counter, necklace in hand.

“Wait!” Eric bit his lip. “Okay, okay.”

He thrust the money at Jon, who pocketed it with his shaky hands. A bead of sweat ran down Jon’s forehead and caught on his eyelash. He wiped it off.

“I’ll replace the money, it’s fine,” Eric said, mostly to himself. He took the necklace from Jon and studied it, turning it over in his hands.

“Now that we have that settled,” Jon said, “where were we?” He fiddled with the bottle of water, spinning it around and sloshing the contents. He twisted the cap: off, on, off.

Jon heard the door open. He shifted his weight to his back foot and looked over. His heart skipped a beat. The door closed behind a tall, broad-shouldered police officer. He had a clean-shaven face, a bulbous nose, and several chins.

The sound of rushing blood filled Jon’s ears. He could hardly hear anything over it. “Huhm - evening, officer,” he called, looking at the man’s feet. His voice sounded tinny to his own ears.

The officer tipped his hat toward the two of them, then meandered through the aisles. The man smelled of sweat.

He turned back to Eric. “Ah, right,” he said, speaking just above a whisper. “I still need change.”

“Hmm?” Eric looked up from the necklace.

“I need change,” Jon repeated, speaking only marginally louder.

“Oh. Sorry.” Eric paused, his eyebrows furrowed and lips pursed. He scratched behind his ear. “What did I owe you?”

Jon looked up and to the right, frowning quizzically. If he wanted to back out, now was the time. On, off, on, off. The water bottle almost fell from his twitchy hands, so he set it on the counter. “Nine dollars, I think. From a ten.” The store was much too hot for this time of year. He couldn't wait to get out of this blazer.

Eric frowned. Jon's heart raced, but Eric soon mumbled, “Right, right.” He opened the cash register again and handed Jon the money. Another thing you could always count on: kids letting greed distract them. Was Jon any better?

“Thanks,” Jon said. He swallowed. “Have a good day.” He cast a glance over to the cop. He was crouched down, grabbing something from a shelf.

“You, too, man," Eric said in a subdued voice. "Thanks,” His attention was back on the necklace.

Before leaving, Jon paused and looked up. “It sure is bright in here, isn’t it?”

He walked to the door, twisting the bottle's cap. He would have whistled, but his mouth too dry. Outside, he turned right and walked to the end of the block. He went into an alley, pressed his back against the wall, and let out the breath he hadn’t realize he'd been holding.

He took the money out of his pocket and stared at it. Never before had a wad of paper looked so divine. He laughed. It started as a slow, dry chuckle but evolved into an almost maniacal cackle. His legs gave out and he dropped to his knees. Pebbles and bits of loose asphalt dug into his legs, but he didn't care. The fit died out, and he sat against the wall, wiping tears from his eyes.

The sound of footsteps approached him. He stiffened. He shoved the money back in his pocket, but he kept his hand on it, knowing he would somehow lose it the instant he let go. The steps grew closer and closer. A shadow peaked out from around the corner. Jon’s heartbeat reached new heights. It would be the chubby cop from the gas station, he just knew it. The cop was about to walk around the corner, brandishing handcuffs. Why had Jon let himself be talked into this? He should have gone straight home.

A tall young man walked around the corner, and Jon's shoulders shed a thousand pounds. The man turned toward Jon. His dirty blond hair poked out the edges of his beanie, and his eyes were hidden behind sunglasses. He smirked at Jon.

“How’d it go?” Austin asked.

Jon shrugged, looked away, and pulled out the wad of bills. When Austin laughed, a twisted smile took over Jon's lips.

“God, Austin," he said. "I can’t believe it was so simple!” He loosened his tie.

Austin grabbed Jon by his shoulders and hoisted him to his feet. He looked Jon up and down. "What’d I say? I knew you had it in you." He clapped Jon on the back. “How much you get ‘em for?”

“A hundred, just like you told me to do.” He shook the bottle of water. “I got him to pay me for buying this. Nine dollars.” He could see himself in Austin’s sunglasses. Was the image distorted, or did Jon really look that sweaty and nervous? He hoped he did; this sort of thing shouldn't be easy.

“No kiddin’?" Austin asked. "You think of that yourself? Not too shabby, Arnette. Not too shabby.” He cleared his throat. “I hate to do this to you, but you know how it goes. Cost of merchandise, and distribution, and all that.” He held out his hand, palm up.

“Yeah, yeah.” Jon separated half the money. He tried slapping it into Austin’s hand, but Austin pulled back his arm at the last second.

“Actually, dude, I’ll give you a break. This time.”

Jon raised an eyebrow. “Really? You, passing up on an opportunity to get money?” He sniffed. “You really have changed.”

Austin shrugged. “I dunno, man. What can I say? Call me sentimental, but until last week, I hadn’t seen you since high school. I wouldn’t feel right takin’ your money for a knockoff necklace.” He smirked. “Just don’t get used to it.”

Jon couldn’t help but smile. “Thank you.” He would have said more, but he just processed something Austin said.

Knockoff necklace.

What was Eric doing? What he was thinking, what was he feeling? Any minute now, a man was supposed to walk into that gas station and make the kid a hundred dollars richer. When that didn’t happen, the store would be out money, and Eric would be paying for it, one way or another.

Jon shook his head to clear it. “Anyway. Should I swing by your place later?”

“What for?”

“To give you back these clothes.” He tugged at the collar of his blazer.

Austin smirked. “They helped you get in character, didn’t they? Help you sell the deal? Nah. Keep ‘em, man.” With a laugh, he added, “You keep hangin’ around me, you’ll need ‘em again. Besides, the clothes you already have aren’t exactly in pristine condition. You could use some new threads.”

"Aren't you in the generous mood." Jon glanced at his watch. Instead of the numbers, he saw Eric's pimply face. "I guess I'll just get going, then."

"Wait." Austin raised an eyebrow. “Actually . . . there’s something you and your fancy new clothes could help me with, right now.” He pushed his sunglasses up on his forehead and looked at the sky. “We still have a little daylight left . . .”

Jon studied Austin’s face. “Um, n-no, Austin, I told you. I’m only doing this one time. It’s not right stealing from people like this.”

Stealing Austin mouthed, shaking his head. “Whatever, man.” He grabbed Jon’s wrist and held it to his face, looking at Jon's watch. He wiggled his eyebrows, and the sunglasses fell back into place. He let go of Jon and turned around. “Well, I’ll be seeing ya. And tell your sister not to be so rough next time.”

“Oh. Uh, yeah. See you.”

Austin waved without turning around.

Jon watched until he left, then pocketed the money. It seemed to weigh a ton as he walked over to a dumpster. He got on his hands and knees, reached underneath, and pulled out a plastic bag. He checked inside to confirm no street urchins had stolen his clothes, then stood. He looked at his watch himself - actually looked at it for the first time in hours - and did a doubletake. A groan escaped his lips.

He was already a half hour late. He might as well make another stop on the way home.


The stairs creaked as Jon climbed them to floor three. The sound was accusing, somehow. If he didn't know better, he'd say the stairs were scolding him. He stopped. Lord was he an idiot sometimes. Really, he thought, stairs? He was letting the stairs make him feel bad? He'd done what he had to do, and he didn't care what anyone or anything thought, no matter how well-carpeted they were.

At the top of the stairwell, he turned right and walked until he reached apartment 306. He glanced down at himself, checking for the thousandth time that he'd remembered to change into his regular clothes. Julia would get suspicious if she saw him in anything not ripped and worn-out. The blazer and slacks were hidden away in one of the three plastic bags he held. Once everyone saw what was in the other two, they would be too distracted to ask about the third.

He took a breath to steady himself and gave a shave-and-a-haircut knock. He heard a chair slide against the floor, followed by footsteps. The door opened, and Jon’s twin sister Julia stood in the doorframe. As always, it was dim inside, making her bright blue eyes stand out. Her dark hair flowed over her shoulders, framing her face.

She smiled, relieved. It was a sweet sight, but it quickly morphed into a scowl. “Why are you so late? We were starting to worry.” She looked at the plastic bags. “What’s in those?”

“Sorry, I lost track of time.”

Jon stepped past her and inside. Around the kitchen table, his three younger siblings were playing with cards. They sat clockwise, from oldest to youngest: his brother Sammy and sisters Lilly and Jess. A fourth spot was set up to Sammy’s right. They looked up when he entered.

“Hey, kids, I’m hooome!” Jon called, as he did every time he entered the apartment.

Lilly pretended not to hear him, suddenly very interested in her cards. Sammy waved. Jess jumped off her chair and ran to him, tackling his waist in a bear hug. He hugged the back of her head with his free hand. He missed when the others cared about him this much.

“Miss me, kiddo?” he asked.

She looked up at him, her wispy blonde bangs dangling in front of her eyes. “Yeah. Why were you gone so long?”

“Sorry. I had to work later than I anticipated.”

Her mouth fell open, forming a small O. “What’s ant-is-uh-paited?”

“It means he was doing something he shouldn’t have been,” Julia called, still standing by the door. At the table, Lilly bit her lips to keep from smiling.

Jon’s heart skipped a beat. He tightened his right hand into a fist, then unclenched and stretched his fingers. He wished he'd kept that water bottle, even after he drank its contents; he needed to fidget with something.

“Don’t listen to her,” he told Jess. “Your sister's trying to brainwash you.

He freed himself from Jess’s death grip and went to the table, Jess following at his heels. He stood between Sam and Lilly, observing the cards.

“Who’s winning?”

“Lilly,” Jess said, “but she’s cheating.” She looked at her sister and blew her a raspberry. Lilly squinted back, her eyes green slits.

Jon bumped Lilly’s shoulder. “What?” he said. “That’s not cool.”

“Watch this, Jess said. Hey, Lilly, have any sevens?”

“No.”

“She’s lying.”

With exaggerated motions, Jon craned his neck, looking over Lilly’s shoulder. He had to strain his eyes to make out the details on her cards. “Hey, she is cheating,” he fibbed.

Lilly threw her cards on the table and stomped off to the couch. Jon looked at Sam. “Man,” he stage-whispered, “who knew ten-year-olds could be such babies?”

“I can still hear you!” Lilly called. “And I’m eleven!”

“Yeah, yeah, I know,” he said. “Now come back here. I have a late present for you, birthday girl.”

Lilly peeked over the back of the couch.

Jon set two of the bags on the table, making it wobble on its flimsy legs. “Well, it’s for all of you, actually. I know you guys haven’t been able to eat a whole lot lately. So I’ve been saving my pennies to get this stuff.” He gestured grandly with his free hand. “Go crazy, kids.”

He walked off to the side, near Julia, and watched. Jess hastily shoved the cards to one corner of the table, then the kids pillaged the bags for the boxes of cereal and granola bars and juice boxes.

“Did Johnson come by today?” he whispered to Julia.

She nodded stiffly. “He says tomorrow is as long as he’ll wait. Then we’re out.” She worked her jaw.

Jon chewed on his bottom lip, seeing figures dancing in front of him. He sighed. “That’s fine. I got my paycheck today - just enough to cover rent.”

Julia gave him a look that he pretended not to notice.

Jess opened a box of cereal and tried shoving her whole hand in, but Sam caught her eye and shook his head. Jess stuck out her tongue but went to the cupboard for a bowl.

“Atta boy,” Jon said under his breath, smiling.

“Hey, kids,” Julia called out. “Time for bed.”

Jon took a half step away from her.

In unison, all three kids turned and stared at Julia. There was a beat of silence, during which the kids glared at each other. As Jess was the worst at giving dirty looks, she spoke first.

“But it’s only eight!” she said.

Julia raised her eyebrows. “I know. Just . . . turn in early tonight, okay?”

“But . . . we just got food,” Sammy ventured.

“It’ll still be there tomorrow.”

Another pause. With a sigh, Sammy stood and walked toward his room. The girls followed his lead. Julia watched as they rounded the corner. The moment they were out of sight, she whipped around and slapped Jon’s arm.

“Where were you?”

“Ow." He rubbed where she'd struck him. “I told you: I was working late. What’s the big deal?”

She crossed her arms. “Working, huh? So you were at the supermarket all day?”

“That’s what I said.”

“Uh-huh. What’s in the other bag?”

“Nothing important.” He swallowed. “Uh, look, it’s been a long day. I just want to relax for a while.”

Avoiding her eyes, he took a seat on the couch and ran a hand over his face. The furniture was so old, it offered no support. Jon adjusted his weight, feeling places were the wooden frame was loose. He set the bag on the floor next to his feet.

“Jon. I called.” Julia walked over and stood in front of him.

“You called,” he repeated. He had to look up at her. He hated when she did things like this. She wasn't taller than he was anymore -hadn't been since they were thirteen - but she still knew just how to intimidate him. “You called. And I’m supposed to know what that means?”

“The supermarket.” She studied Jon’s face. The lights flickered. She cast an annoyed glance upwards. “You were gone for so long, I called to check on you. They said you left at five, just like every day. That was three hours ago.” She walked closer, making him crane his neck. “Where were you?”

“I don’t know who you called, but they don’t know what they’re. . .” He trailed off, wilting under her gaze. He looked at the floor. His mouth moved, trying to find the words his brain couldn't. He clenched and unclenched his fists, digging his nails into his skin each time. Finally, he sighed. “You remember the other day, when Austin came over?”

“You mean when he showed up out of nowhere and wanted you to do that stupid con job and I threw him out? Yeah, I think I remember that.” She watched him for a few seconds. “You did it, didn’t you?” He scratched the back of his neck. “I can’t believe it. After all the fuss I made, you just go behind my back and do it anyway. You -”

Jon held up his hand. “I know. But I had to. My job doesn’t pay all that much, and the kids need to eat.”

“They need you!" she practically yelled. She glanced toward the hallway, toward the bedrooms. In a lower voice, she continued. "Do you have any idea how much trouble you would be in if you got caught? What if you get thrown in jail? What happens to the kids then?”

Jon clenched his jaw. He tightened his fists. Open, close. This was all so easy for her to say. She wasn't the man of the house. She didn't have to live up the legacy of a dead man, a father glorified to perfection by memory. Open, close. His right hand prickled, and something wet his fingertips. He opened his mouth to talk.

“Julia?” a soft voice called.

Standing at the edge of the room, holding her hands to her chest, was Jess. She looked back and forth between her older siblings, eyes wide.

“Can you tuck me in?” she asked shakily.

Wordlessly, Julia stood and went to Jess. She put an arm around her shoulders and guided her to the girls’ room. Jess glanced back at Jon, with those big, innocent, blue eyes. Their mother's eyes.

Now alone, Jon slouched and rubbed his eyes. The lights flickered, and he looked up. A month ago, two bulbs had burned out in the living room, and the final bulb in the fixture was on its last legs. He always said he would change them out, but he never did. He could never scrounge up enough change to buy new bulbs. There was always food to buy, or ratty shoes to replace, or rent to pay. On the rare days he did have a spare dollar or two, he added to the jar on top of the fridge. He called it the rainy-day jar. If he didn’t get new bulbs soon, though, they would be living in darkness. They wouldn't be able to see the rain, but they would be able to feel it all the same.

He sat taller and look around at the apartment. Details to which he’d long grown accustomed now caught his eye. The wallpaper was horribly faded and ripped. The furniture was worn and had holes. The kitchen table bowed under the weight of the uneaten food.

Finally, his gaze fell to the bag by his feet. Would Austin really be willing to work him with again, after a half-decade of separation? It had sure seemed so earlier. If only his sister didn't keep such close tabs on him . . .

The floorboards creaked, and Jon looked forward. Julia walked out of the hallway and sat next to him on the couch. He watched her intently.

“It’s not just for them,” he said, almost too quietly for his own ears.

“What?”

He shifted so he was facing her. “The kids. I didn’t do it just for them. I did it for you, too.”

Her posture relaxed. She rested her head on his shoulder. Her body heat radiated onto him. It was a comforting feeling, reminding him of when they were young and inseparable. Before they had to grow up.

“I just don’t want anything to happen,” she said. “For this family to work, we all need to be together. It took years for things to get back to normal after Dad, and even longer after Dean left. And then - Mom.” Her voice caught on the last word. She coughed. “The kids can’t handle anything else happening.”

Jon took a breath, held it for a few seconds, and exhaled. “I know.”

“They’re kids, they shouldn’t even have to think about these kinds of things. They should just be worried about having fun.”

“I know.”

They sat in silence. The never-ending sounds of traffic drifted in from the street. A siren blared, gradually growing louder. Maybe that cop from earlier took his nose out of his donuts long enough to realize he'd tipped his hat to a thief.

“Don’t do it again.” Julia's breath was hot against his neck.

Jon didn’t respond. The siren faded.

“Please, don’t. It’s just not worth it.”

Slowly, finally, Jon nodded. “I won’t.”

“Good.”

For close to a minute, neither of them moved a muscle or said a word. They were content to just sit in each other’s company. Eventually, something occurred to Jon.

“Hey, how did you call the supermarket?”

Julia’s lips twitched. “Hmm?”

“The phone hasn’t been working for a week. How did you call?”

She smirked. “Gotcha.”

Jon smiled despite himself. His face felt warm. He looked up, at the single remaining light. It was so dim it didn’t even hurt his eyes.

The light flickered twice and died.

© 2019 Jacob Clifford


Author's Note

Jacob Clifford
Some of you who've known me for a while on this site might recognize parts of this story. It used to be on this website under a different name ("Cracked") in several parts, but I took it down because I didn't have the time or ambition to keep up with updating it. Now it's back up and modified to be a standalone story. I would love to hear your thoughts. Regardless, I thank you for your time.

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Featured Review

I enjoyed reading this story , vivid description and details. I kept anticipating something terrible was going to happen, and I was quite relieved at your satisfactory ending. (one thing I'm not quite clear about, Jon and Jess were brother and sister, weren't they? Dean must have been the husband?) Anyway, apart from getting a little confused with names, I thought it was a good story, which put the spot light on some of the things that go on (out of necessity, usually!), in parts of our society.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

5 Years Ago

If you mean Jon and Julia, yes, they're bother and sister. They're twins. I know there wasn't a whol.. read more
Great Aunt Astri

5 Years Ago

Yes, I agree. I think many who commit crimes have reason behind what they do. And I think our societ.. read more



Reviews

I usually don't read too many stories, lack of concentration. This is so good.
Awesome detail, descriptiveness and wonderful imagery in this write.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

3 Years Ago

Glad you enjoyed, and thanks for reading.
I enjoyed reading this story , vivid description and details. I kept anticipating something terrible was going to happen, and I was quite relieved at your satisfactory ending. (one thing I'm not quite clear about, Jon and Jess were brother and sister, weren't they? Dean must have been the husband?) Anyway, apart from getting a little confused with names, I thought it was a good story, which put the spot light on some of the things that go on (out of necessity, usually!), in parts of our society.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

5 Years Ago

If you mean Jon and Julia, yes, they're bother and sister. They're twins. I know there wasn't a whol.. read more
Great Aunt Astri

5 Years Ago

Yes, I agree. I think many who commit crimes have reason behind what they do. And I think our societ.. read more
Nice flow here. I like the transistion from the gas station to alley to the home. It's not easy joining all that together in a nice progression but I think you were successful with that. I also think the character consistency hangs in there throughout those transitions. I am far away from being able to write something this long, but you give me great encouragement! Thanks for the share.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

5 Years Ago

Thank you very much! Always a pleasure to encourage someone.
As I recall, this new version seems a little more streamlined & better that way. But there are a few "extras" that seem a little distracting to me . . . like when the store clerk mentions it's kinda late for an interview (are interviews only conducted during certain hours?) . . . and about paying the price for the bottle of water (from the sequence of events, this seems like a straightforward transaction, nothing tricky) . . . & right after the con, the imagined cop swinging his handcuffs (seems unlikely for a cop to be doing this). The ending is much improved, more logical & nuanced, with the reader being left to ponder whether the guy would do another con or not . . . & also with the ironic symbolism of the wife conning the hubby while the hubby was conning the store clerk. Good conversation between hubby & wife thru the ending.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

5 Years Ago

Maybe you're right about the extras. It seems to be a bad habit I picked up from all my years of und.. read more
I recognize some of parts of this! It's a great story. You really pull the reader in and give us lots of careful descriptions to help us imagine the characters and their situation. Glad to see you Clifford! :)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jacob Clifford

5 Years Ago

Thanks, Andronicus. Glad you enjoy. Glad to see you, too. I know I've been on here less and less lat.. read more
Stan Lee

5 Years Ago

Yup, I do know about real life crap :) Hope you're okay
Jacob Clifford

5 Years Ago

Yep, I'm doing well. Just a lot happening.

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Added on April 18, 2017
Last Updated on April 15, 2019

Author

Jacob Clifford
Jacob Clifford

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About
Thank you, my Cafe family, for all that you have done for me. This has been a wonderful period of my life. If any of you ever want to reach me, feel free to send me an email at [email protected] more..

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Cracked Cracked

A Story by Jacob Clifford



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