WEEKLY FORECAST — JUNE 14 – 20, 2015

Tim Stephens.cover.J#7B6373
Note: this is NEXT WEEK’S forecast. To read the present week’s column, please scroll down to “RECENT POSTS” on the right margin, and click on “June 7 – 13, 2015.”

ALL TIMES/DATES ARE PDT (Pacific Daylight Time Zone). PDT is 8 hours “before” Greenwich (England). (As long as Britain is also on Daylight time.) For example, when it is noon PST, it is 8 pm in England. The “World Clock” in the right margin gives you some clues. (You can also Google “time zone converter.”)


START NOTHING: Before 10:51 am Sun., 7:05 am to 3:51 pm Tues., and 10:52 pm to 11:23 pm Thurs.



Sometimes, brightness obscures.

Russia’s woes (sanctions, soaring inflation, 15 % interest rates, falling GDP) will ease after November (2015).

Soon, I’ll start a new “Luck Forecast” for every sign. (For August 2015 to Sept. 2016.)


CAPRICORN IS an earth sign, but it’s more trees than dirt. Caps usually love deserts, rocks and mountains. Capricorns tend to live a long time – often productively. Betty White is still collecting accolades at 93 years. (Comedian/actor George Burns, often touted as the prime example of long-lived Capricorn, was probably an Aquarian. On the day of his birth, the Sun left Capricorn about 7 am, and travelled through Aquarius for 17 hours until midnight. So the mathematical probability is that he was Aquarius – though he certainly shared Cap’s proclivity toward long life. His comic gifts come from his Aries Moon.)
Is it odd that, with Pluto in Capricorn 2009 to 2024, society has begun to talk almost fanatically about stretching our lives’ length – even immortality is hinted at. Capricorn rules longevity and Pluto rules death and rebirth, hence the present zeitgeist. (I think Caps live so long because they truly love the corporeal life, and because they tend to be sparing in their habits – light drinkers, light eaters, etc.)
The typical Cap is slim, wiry – Howard Stern – though there are many exceptions. This sign often can, like Gemini, emphasize and use the other elements of their personality (chart) – even to the point of seeming to be a different sign. For example, a Cap with a Libran Moon, will often appear to be a Libran, and only when pressed against the wall (probably, in a power struggle) will Capricorn show itself. Capricorn marshals and uses all his/her abilities. (Unlike Gemini, who uses all his abilities, but doesn’t marshal them. Gemini is curious, seeks short, new, novel experiences; Cap is a strategist, always has a campaign quietly brewing.) Capricorn’s a very sober, realistic sign – almost never fanatic, never a zealot, because never an idealist (except, perhaps, in youth). Cap gets joy from the vistas of nature. The men are hardworking, usually. For most of the 20th century, Capricorn women were sultry, sexy, and competent “secretaries” to their mates, the kind of secretary who arranges, contacts, organizes, suggests, sometimes insists, and chooses his suits. Being barred from the (male) halls of power, they instead turned to control and groom their man – and to build up the family’s fortune and reputation. (To a Cap, reputation is HUGE.) With the turn of the 1970’s, and the decline of the household, Cap women have increasingly had to find a new role. Geminis are sexually tempted by Cap (while Caps are tempted by Leo). But Taurus and Virgo offer Capricorn true love, and Cancer offers lifetime love (with some possibility of constant bickering or competitiveness – so choose your Cancer well, Cap).



Aries.svgARIES March 21-April 19
Believe it or not, another easy, smooth, crisis-free week! (If a crisis occurs now, it comes from your personal birth chart. So, if one comes, look to your past, your actions and decisions, for both the cause and the cure.) The emphasis remains on errands, wanderlust, curiosity, paperwork, details, siblings and casual friends, trips and communications. Delays have ended in these zones, so make up for lost time now. You’ll be busy and adroit. Take that word, communications, then combine it with the fact that you’re in a super romantic phase – and it will end in two months. (Even now, another phase is overlapping – this phase is one of partnership love, which lasts to October – these phases should dovetail, to your benefit – i.e., can bring loving marriage.) But love might go nowhere without communication, especially if you gave a rejection message in the past. In all ways, in love, Aries, the onus is on you – express yourself, your heart. Sunday mid-morn to Tues. mid-afternoon emphasizes these errands, communications, etc. Retreat mildly Tues. eve to Thurs. night, be home, embrace family, garden, landscape, start renovations, revamp nutritional intake, etc. (If buying real estate, do it for the family, not for profit: and favour # 4 addresses.) You might experience some alienation or subtle push-back Wed. pm and pre-dawn Thursday, so be diplomatic, co-operative. Romance strikes, late Thurs. night to Saturday – charge, plunge, express your heart! If married or uninterested, this interval luckily supports creative, speculative and pleasure pursuits.

taurus weekly forecastTAURUS April 20-May 20
No more delays, Taurus – you can charge ahead in the pursuit of money, possessions, clothes. You like finely crafted things. You are super-favoured to buy/sell real estate/home until early August, and mildly favoured even after, to early October. (You know how I say sometimes, “Don’t start living with someone – friction will result”? Well, this is the opposite: if you started living with someone now to early Oct., affection and sweetness would result.) Money continues to flow swiftly to you – bank it, or you can easily spend more than comes. All this money, spending, possession stuff is slated Sunday mid-morn (PDT) to Tues. afternoon. Not much can go wrong. Now (Sunday) to Sept. 17, you might meet a viable, intelligent, inspiring mate. Things will progress slowly: this is a smart, careful person. Errands, trips, calls, casual friends, writing, paperwork and details fill Tues. late afternoon to Thurs. night. All’s well, but your loved one might not be able to meet you Wed. eve to Thurs. pre-dawn (PDT) or you might sense a quiet alienation from someone. (A new person met in this period will not be a good mate.) Settle into home, family, garden, neighbourhood, Fri./Sat. – you’ll be relaxed, happy, caressed by nature. It’s a tremendously lucky 2 days if you’re house hunting (quit Sat. afternoon). Also great for retirement or security plans, starting a college fund for the kids, renovations, decorating, etc.

Gemini.svgGEMINI May 21-June 20
Your energy, charisma, sexual magnetism, effectiveness and clout remain at a yearly high (and soar upward this Sunday to Tues. afternoon). Delays are gone, so you can start good new projects. Others will follow your lead. You’re tempted, if single, to turn a friendly bond to a more romantic one. This urge will last to early October, and will have some success, especially in August if you flatter someone, and in late Sept./early Oct. The question is: do you really want to succeed? Gemini loves to start love, but can become bored or burdened if/when love becomes “everyday.” Make sure you want what you conquer, especially if your goal is someone sweet who returned in the last few weeks. Your popularity remains high (to June 24) and you feel, almost every day, uplifting little moments of promise, of happy anticipation. Start communicating – reach out to make contacts. A former chore or “promising drudgery” returns now to mid-September – work here somehow improves your living standards (or bank account). Chase money, buy/sell, Tues. eve to Thursday late night. You’ll feel sensual. But alienation could seep in between you and someone Wed. eve to Thurs. pre-dawn – poor time to bring a date home, or press for intimacy. Errands, friendly romance, casual acquaintances, mail, communications, paperwork , travel, news media fill Fri./Sat. – be curious, you can learn a lot. You might make a new friend, even a lover (but read this whole message again). A perfect time to write, talk, persuade!

Cancer.svgCANCER June 21-July 22
Most delays have ended, Cancer. (They remain in partnership and love zones. A former spouse or marriage prospect – business prospect for marrieds – returns between this Sunday and early August – and “hangs around” until mid-September.) Remain restful and contemplative this week, especially Sunday morning to Tuesday afternoon. Examine situations and the people involved, then make plans. Deal with the government, institutions, charities and your own head office. (Somehow, your career, prestige are tied up with these until June 24. Be thoughtfully communicative, not impulsive.) Money, income opportunities increase now to August, and last even beyond, to October. Your energy and charisma, clout and effectiveness rise mildly Tues. afternoon to Thurs. night. All’s well, but be alert, cautious Wed. eve to dawn Thurs., when a bit of alienation or disruption/stress might occur. Chase money Fri./Sat. – two very lucky days! Contact clients, ask the boss for a promotion or pay raise, collect and pay old debts, start new income projects, sell items, hold a garage sale, and shop for a luxury item (Fri.) or a prized possession (Sat.).

Leo icon, Luck ForecastLEO July 23-Aug. 22
Another relatively easy week, Leo. You remain popular, your social life shines, a friendly romance might begin/continue, and entertainment arrives. Wishes can come true. You feel optimistic, happy! A three-month period of work on the home front begins now, but that won’t lessen your joy this week. One of those people you’re so popular with might nudge you to marry, travel far away, or to enroll in higher education; you yourself might want to jump into a law suit. Be careful with all these, Leo; a trap might lurk here. (On the plus side, communication delays have ended in these areas.) You’re not only lucky now, your “love appeal” rises, as your physical and social charms will shine, now through October. For lover Leos, this will be a grand summer! For fighter Leos, well, June’s hopes might turn to July’s defeats. Take care. Sunday morning to Tuesday afternoon brings optimism, popularity, light romance. Retreat, rest, contemplate and plan Tues. eve to Thurs. night. All’s well – but watch a domestic quarrel (or similar) Wed. eve to Thurs. dawn (PDT). Your energy and charisma soar skyward Fri./Sat. – chase your dreams, get out, see and be seen, start significant projects, or collect on ventures already begun. You’re the star – and lucky. Romance? Easy!

Virgo.svgVIRGO Aug. 23-Sept. 22
Delays have ended, Virgo, so charge ahead during this relatively easy week. The main accent remains on your career, ambitions, relations with higher-ups, and reputation. Pursue this, but be mild, not ruthless. VIPs and bosses can be impatient, temperamental, to late June. Grin and bear it. You are in one of the low-luck years of your life, but only until August, when one of the high-luck years of your life begins. Until then, try to grab all your life’s dangling strings in one fist and either complete them or cut them out – e.g., finish tax forms, government applications, organize your files, etc. Get ready, so that by late August onward, you can act, shoot forth, plunge into something new: even start a whole new life. These “clean up” tasks will proceed fairly smoothly and pleasantly. (And you will enjoy your moments of solitude, now to August.) Be ambitious Sunday morning to Tues. afternoon – but act alone; co-operation will be slim. You might be tempted to start a new project – I wouldn’t. Happiness, optimism, popularity, social delights, perhaps friendly romance – these visit you Tues. eve to Thurs. night. However, don’t pursue intimacy too strenuously Wed. eve to dawn Thurs. Your private life consumes you Fri./Sat., but in a good, healing, successful way. Chase civil servants, institutional contacts, contemplate and plan. Apply for a grant, aid – your chances are good!

Libra.svgLIBRA Sept. 23-Oct. 22
Recent delays have ended, Libra, so you can charge ahead. (Although new delays will appear in earning/shopping, home improvements, and work/employment, lasting through the summer. If you need work, first seek out those who hired you in the past. You might also have been having second thoughts about home, a property – circumstances here have “returned” since last April, making you face some old problem. By October, solutions will come.) Until late June, avoid being drawn into legal affairs, lawsuits. If a legal matter was left hanging in May, it returns now to early July – so might a school application, international travel, a publishing venture, a lecture, etc. All these are emphasized Sun. morning to Tues. afternoon, an interval of mild success. The present week is easy, smooth. Be ambitious Tues. eve to Thurs. night. You might have to “escape” home, family, to accomplish your goals Wed. eve to dawn Thurs. (PDT). But your intuition is superb Wed. morn (especially about work, health) and Thursday after dawn (after supper, in Asia) is stable, supports steady, unceasing work. Wishes come true in some form Fri./Sat., when your popularity soars, your future looks endless and bright, flirtations are “for real,” and social delights surround you. Mix, mingle, issue invitations. A group you join these two days can benefit you immensely in future, especially in religious, spiritual, psychic areas. Happiness!

Scorpio.svgSCORPIO Oct. 23-Nov. 21
The main delays have ended, Scorpio, so you can charge ahead with many things, including sexual, financial, research/investigative, health/surgery, social and lifestyle changes. (Especially Sunday mid-morn to Tues. afternoon, when these matters arise naturally; they succeed easily dawn Monday onward. However, keep a grain of scepticism, as subtle traps/delays/dead ends could lurk here.) You might remain a little indecisive, especially about travel, auto purchase, computer and communications, through the summer. A mellow, wise mood floats over you Tues. eve to Thurs. night – publishing, advertising, higher learning, all intellectual pursuits, far travel, cultural venues, and love, all are favoured. However, tread lightly Wed. afternoon (PDT) to dawn Thursday, when others might feel a little excluded by you – and could react in a surprising way. Friday/Sat. promote ambition, business, reputation, prestige relationships: your luck is superb here, so don’t dilly-dally – get going! Your career, reputation, business and ambitions are expansively lucky until early August, and you attract affection, favours, from bosses and authorities until early October. Go!

Sagittarius.svgSAGITTARIUS Nov. 22-Dec. 21
Delays have ended, Sage, especially in relationships, relocation, dealings with the public, and negotiations in general. These are emphasized all week, but especially Sunday morn to Tues. afternoon. It’s still a little early to start a project or relationship in these areas, so take a receptive, wait-and-see approach. What seemed like a sobering development the first half of this year now backs away to give you a summer of buoyant irresponsibility. (That sobering influence will be back, mid-September, so do what you can this summer to “head it off at the pass,” or reduce its potency. E.g., you’ve had a toothache that now will recede all summer, but it will be back: so off to the dentist before autumn.) An exciting meeting might occur Monday, and leave you dreaming of romance Tuesday morning. If an old flame has returned in the past few weeks, Mon./Tues. are the time to act on it, to make that decision, yea or nay. Friday/Saturday are even better for such a decision (especially if your answer’s “Yes”). For you, love, far travel, a wedding, new intellectual horizons, all shine with radiant luck until August, and with affectionate, social luck until October. Be forward, chase what/who you want. Tackle chores and protect your health (eat/dress sensibly) Tues. eve to Thurs. night. Friday/Saturday bring intellectual pursuits, higher learning, far travel, international contacts/affairs, religious or cultural events – and love. You’re lucky – take a chance.

Capricorn.svgCAPRICORN Dec. 22-Jan. 19
Recent delays are over, especially in work, machinery and health zones. These are emphasized this week, especially Sunday morning to Tues. afternoon. So charge ahead with these this week, but stop short of starting a new project in these areas. Something you had given up hope about these last six months, might return to tempt you again – or to please you again! Chasing this will make a wish come true. But don’t take forever – you only have until mid-September, then this thing will disappear for thirty years. A Scorpio might be involved. Relationships and opportunities that appear Tues. eve to Thursday night will excite and please – but is that you, subtly rejecting someone Wed. night or pre-dawn Thursday? Friday/Saturday bring mysteries, depths, investigation, sexual yearning, financial actions (on the large side: e.g., investment, or restructuring debt) health diagnoses, lifestyle changes, commitment and consequence. Your luck here is superb – act! Your financial and sexual concerns face superb luck until October. (Perhaps due to some action you take in late June, early July. July 1 is the peak of this influence. But acting now is urged also.) A good week!

Aquarius.svgAQUARIUS Jan. 20-Feb. 18
Delays have ended, Aquarius, so shoot forward – especially in romance, love, beauty, pleasure, creativity, speculation, risk, and in raising children – and especially this Sunday to Tues. afternoon. However, don’t start a brand-new project or relationship these three days. All’s well – though you might spend too much on pleasure, love. You might also find, on a different note, that your communications about love bring you some unwanted attention, or that you say something that quietly subverts your relationship. So this week and next, don’t be blithe about what or how you communicate – especially if you’re married. Sunday to Tuesday are deeply romantic. Tackle chores Tuesday eve to Thursday night. Protect your health, eat and dress sensibly. Be a bit careful Wed. eve to Thurs. dawn – follow safety rules, especially around chemicals, gas, and electricity. You might feel a bit “lonely in a crowd” – but not for long! Friday/Saturday bring exciting meetings, opportunity, love attraction or enemies, opportunities, relocation themes – but mostly, superb luck for Aquarians attempting to merge, bond, marry, whatever. Since July 2014, and lasting to August 2015, if you’re unhappily married, separation can occur. (If you’re married to a Leo, it can occur in Sept. and Oct., too.) This same period can bring matches made in heaven for singles. So, if single, chase someone – especially Saturday early afternoon (PDT). (To 11, 12 pm in Europe; to 7 or 9 am Sunday in India, Asia, and Aussie-land.) If married, behave – and take your mate on an adventure, even a wee one, a day trip.

Pisces.svgPISCES Feb. 19-March 20
Delays have ended, especially in home, family, property, partnership, relocation, public dealings, negotiations. Still, don’t try to start a new venture in these zones Sunday morning to Tuesday afternoon, when they are emphasized. (All’s well, it’s just that something started now will tend to wilt.) Be patient with family and kids – just putter around and enjoy nature. Romantic or creative passion, a gambling fever, or simply the joy of beauty, flow into you Tues. eve to Thurs. night. Enjoy it, but don’t disturb any “quiet apple carts” Wed. supper time to dawn Thurs. Tackle chores Fri./Sat. – these splendid two days are perfect for accomplishment, finding employment, increasing your job duties, buying machinery or tools, fixing a health problem. Act before 2 pm. (PDT) Saturday (11 pm Central Europe, 7-9 am in Asia). These days hold two elements that will slowly come together (June 30, July 1) to grow something new – something rewarding, like a financial windfall, or a job you really love. Expect work to grow until August. Then expect to be rewarded Sept./Oct. A cherished wish or goal has been elusive since last April, and will remain so until October onward, then will be “available” to you. Now to mid-September, legal, educational, international and cultural involvements, though hopeful, will progress slowly – there’s something you forgot here. It will tap you on the shoulder soon.

The End.

FLYING – a short story. Warning: some violence.

I suspect many of you were surprised by my stories – these “afterambles” – because they showed a side of me not usually seen in my astrology blog. In addition, they’re quite dismal tales, for which I apologize. I’ll probably stop for awhile, after the present one, “Flying.” But if I resume, I hope to write a happy story about love. Anyway, here’s your last dose for awhile of cringe-worthy stories!


Holding the painted rail, she idly wondered about jumping. The townhouse balcony jutted over a small garden three stories below. Behind it ran a chain link fence. Behind the fence stood a thick, wild wood, the university’s forest buffer. With a huge leap, she might clear the link fence. Of course she was 50 and could never jump that far.
She returned to the small party. Angie Fletcher and Troy How, Phillip and Barb Tinald, Doug and Olivia were there, but what she felt was the lack of anything to say to any of them. And – and Elliot, faithful, untrue Elliot. She smiled serenely at him, her newish (four years) husband. She didn’t know him, either. The pale afternoon stood around her like a watery prison.
He was handsome, pleasant to look at. Like a fine vase, or a beautiful bowl. She kept hoping, in her better moments, that she could fill it with valuable things, insights and treasured yearnings and deep sharing. Except today. Except always.
Two months ago – or so – they had their defining fight. He seemed barely to have noticed.
“You’ve taken them away,” she had said, determined to have it out. “You’ve deliberately inserted yourself between me and my friends, and –“ she had lost words, lost the sense of what followed.
“Marisa, you’re upset.”
“And there I was humbling myself for you,” she said bitterly. “I went, and I apologized, I apologized to them. I humiliated myself, to keep these friends, and they treated me like shit. I can’t stand it.”
(Months before that, when the Tinalds were over for supper – Elliot cooking – she’d exploded, accusing them of being Elliot’s friends and not hers. She was only groping then at what he was doing; it was unclear to her. They’d left immediately. Afterwards, she drove to their house, alone, to apologize. But her outburst had pushed them further away. Or rather, the cool reasonableness with which her apologies were met showed her how far away they had already drifted. She listened with shock and outward humility as Barbara responded with a cool reservation, as her eyes said plainly, condescendingly, if you behave yourself in future.)
She despised them for leaving her, for turning their emotional backs to her.
“Oh, that,” Elliot had said. “They don’t even remember. They don’t care.”
Perhaps she couldn’t explain deeply and intricately enough, or perhaps Elliot’s unconcern was somehow bad, selfish, even deliberate. She still could not decide. When she protested with any certainty, he would act surprised at her odd behaviour. Yet again and again, without warning, he would do some small thing to diminish her before her friends.
In the stress of their argument she couldn’t put her finger on it; she couldn’t name the exact time or place of his undermining her. It was all hints, fragments.
“You…that – that anniversary cad for Phil and Barb –“ she was grasping for examples – “then you signed it from both of us in your handwriting. Implying that you had thought of it, bought it, and I was just rude, just out of the picture.”
“Oh, that was nothing.”
“Nothing! You always say it was nothing! I didn’t even SEE it. Little things! Little things always, for two, three, four years now! Every time it’s so small, that I feel silly, stupid, to even say anything about it. And now you’ve started pretending you paid for everything! Now it’s your constant little insinuations that you bought this townhouse.” But she said this softly, in reverence at the horror of it, of her accusation, or of his behaviour. And immediately wished she had not said it. She couldn’t quite state bluntly that she bought the townhouse (though she had, before they met) that it was hers, alone. Saying that, might be too much. He might protest, might upset the whole structure. And what that meant, she would not look at. So she held it in reserve, this last, desperate bombshell, if she needed it. Like a nuke, to contaminate victor and victim. To finally win the argument. It was extremely unfair. The truth should be understood. It shouldn’t have to be spoken. Yet she realized, without wanting to, that he was quietly and steadily making tiny inroads, little tunnelling comments, to undermine this truth also: slowly mounting an attack on her ownership – to – . But what that meant, she would not look at. She still wished she hadn’t brought up the townhouse. It was all she owned. Eliot owned nothing.
So she added, “Oh, it’s all a bunch of little things!”
“I think you have a problem with your imagination, Marisa.”
Behave myself in future! In the pale afternoon, she looked coolly around at Angie and Phil, and Barbara and Olivia and Doug, Troy – and Elliot. She stepped from the living room, through the dining area to the kitchen, went blithely to the sink to pretend she was doing something.
Suddenly, quietly and calmly, smiling, she fled, back through the dining, living room, and downstairs, still pretending she was doing something.
“Where are you going, Honey?” Elliot appeared, followed her downstairs.
“Just out.”
“Elliot, I need to lie down. Or fresh air.” She waited, seeing if he would accept the excuse.
“Okay, lie down,” he said.
She lay in rebellion, clenched. A hummingbird came to the bedroom window. It calmed her. She rose and returned to the get-together. But with every step up those stairs, the endless days stretched before and behind her. She stopped one inch before her hair would appear through the white wood railing. She stood for several moments, heard but didn’t distinguish their chatter. A chair scraped – like a warning bell, it sent her swiftly downstairs, fleeing silently in her stocking’d feet.
In the bedroom, her heart pounded. Her flight, her danger, was confirmed. She slipped her shoes back on, as if to be ready.
In practical terms, there was nowhere to go. She’d gone before. 500 miles. The farms laid out like carpets of despair, the agonizingly slow crawl of her car, though she kept the speedometer high, the long miles of trees and trees and trees. None of it, the farms or fields or forests, would embrace her. She’d come back, ashamed again.
From the coolness of the bedroom she stood staring at Elliot’s birds. Elliot loved birds. He had two cages on a stainless steel stand in the small conservatory, like big bell flowers flopped atop a stem. In one, the yellow canary looked alertly at her, and flitted to and fro. The blue parakeet in the other cage – Parkie – plump and quiet, did not move. But he eyed her also. She stepped into the lightness of their conservatory room.
She opened the parakeet’s door, nudged him to hop on her finger, which he didn’t want to do, then drew him out, placing a curved hand around his warm, beating body. With one finger, she smoothed his neck feathers. Then she wrapped her finger around his neck, squeezed and pulled his head off.
The little body spasmed for a moment. She didn’t see any blood at first, then it began to swell up through his headless shoulders, a small red pool. She stepped quickly from the conservatory, back through the bedroom to the ensuite, opened the toilet, and dropped Parkie and his head in, and flushed. The body wasn’t going down, the wings spread as if for flight.. She reached in hurriedly, took the ridiculously light little body in one hand, the wings in another, and wrenched them off. Slowly, quieter now, she dropped the wingless body in and flushed again. It whirled and dove down. The wings went next. A few pale blue and white breast feathers, light and curled, stuck to the side of the bowl. She started to reach in to pluck them off, then noticed that red blood had flowed over a few of her fingers. Automatically, as if she’d cut herself, she licked the blood. It was hot, sweet and salty. Her nose filled with the dry stink of a bird. She rinsed her hands….as the water swirled around the drain, she imagined herself lying on her back on the bed, holding the blue bird’s body in both hands…from every deep vein and tunnel…
In a panic, as if a ghost had grabbed her hair, as if something chased her, she ran upstairs.
“ I don’t know what happened. I took him out a moment – Parkie – and he flew out the bathroom window and – never came back!” As she blurted this out, in a rush of blushing excitement, in a loud and surprised voice, in the midst of what seemed to her like a frenetic battleground (though everyone stood silent) even as she hovered on the edge of panic and triumph, something else existed – deep within her, like a seed, the memory of the bathroom minutes ago, when she had stood sated and satisfied….
She had never lied like this before, so purposefully and blatantly. She didn’t know why she’d started, but now that it had begun it was frightening and exciting, and she was determined to pull it off, and the certainty that she would, exhilarated her. She watched the look on Elliot’s face and unsuccessfully hid her joyous interest, and then she turned to the others, looking directly into their eyes. How easy it was to reveal nothing of herself!
“What?” she said, “What are you staring at me for?” They all were staring, and now they all averted their eyes, except Angie. Angie frowned at her.
“I think there’s blood on your blouse,” she said.
“Oh my God. I cut myself. I was opening – a jar of face cream. A brand new jar. Can you believe that? It had a burr, it cut my finger – see?” she waved her hand, then grabbed it, hid it with her other, as if to stop it from bleeding further.
”Oh migawd! What did you think?” she cried, laughing.
“Oh my god,” she said again, and turned and walked quickly away and down the stairs, clack, clack, clack, feeling their eyes on the back of her head, her own eyes starting to brim with tears.

The End