One of the best feelings in the world is opening up a message from someone who took the time to send their compliments over something I wrote. That happened recently, and it cast a light on everything I did all day. It was magic. I encourage you to take the time to do this if you've ever read something you've truly enjoyed. Seriously. Those messages totally rock.
Today, to remind me of the balance of nature, I got the opposite sort of comment in my in-box. Ah well. You can't please everyone. Trying to make everyone happy always leads to less happiness, really.
Speaking of trying to please everyone...
"The Assistant," by Mel Bossa
Trying to survive on the street is a little like that. Keegan is doing that - and failing - at the start of Bossa's tale, found in Tricks of the Trade (which, by the by, links there right now for 99 cents through kobo). Sick and realizing that the group he's with isn't likely to care if he gets better, Keegan takes a shot at choosing his own direction with a street artist with quick hands - and a quicker mind.
But is a short at a future just another illusion spun by the fingers of a stranger?
I loved the tone of this tale - the desperation that Keegan is fighting to stay one step ahead rings so damn true, and his desire to make it, and make it on his own terms, is solid. The temptation of this stranger... how could anyone resist that kind of magic?