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In honor of William Shakespeare’s birthday, or at least his purported birthday, here’s the opening of my short story, “Why Miss Elizabeth Never Joined the Shakespeare Club.”

They found Miss Elizabeth dead this morning, upright in her velvet Queen Anne chair, hands folded. When I heard the news, I was in the same pose; I had fallen asleep while crocheting, as I am prone to do in the afternoons nowadays, and the telephone frightened me. Unexpected phone calls always bring thoughts of death. My first reaction:

Now I am the only one left who knows Miss Elizabeth’s story. My second reaction: Perhaps I am the only one to whom it has meaning.

You can read the rest of the story in my collection, Scattered Lights. If you already own the collection, thank you! And be sure to leave a review on your favorite book-review website.