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The stories in this book deal with the quotidian mysteries of life, of humans relating to one
another in often humorous, possibly serious and sometimes murderous ways. Almost all the stories are true yet not true. A few are pure fantasy. In some cases  the names have been changed to protect the guilty. 

As with life, the stories in this collection deal with  human relationships, good and bad, how they differ and transmute as we pass through different stages of life.  From the baby experiencing birth to the final musings of a woman of seven decades, these stories explore the relationship of parent and child, of lovers, of  husband and wife, of neighbors, of families. They explore our relationship with authority as in “The Headmaster”, the government as in “Escape”,  the horrors of a future world as in the “Sooey Pill” or bureaucracy as in “Facing the Faceless Bureaucracy.”. 

Each short vignette tells a story in the old fashioned sense. And just as life itself is a mystery, so many of these stories are mysteries set in the context of the super-heated stressful world that we live in today, Often it is left to the reader to discover what has happened, to solve the mystery. In most of the short vignettes, something has been set in motion, something that will change the lives of the protagonists in small or large ways unless as in "A Funny Thing Happened…", the protagonist is completely oblivious. But here it is left to the reader to discover what has happened - to discover how a careless word, a mistaken name can destroy lives.   Sometimes the story is told in a male voice, in others in that of a woman, as they stumble through the various stages of  life. These stages can be traced from the first four chapters spoken in a young voice, through chapters five to twenty one, expressive of the frustrations of mid-life, through the final chapters which recall a time when life seemed different and the future held promise.

Elaine Slater

Table of Contents

The Way It Used To Be