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Short Stories 365:232

Back in Ottawa.

While I really loved the galleries and the CN Tower, the range of theatre and cons and exhibits and other stuff going on (that all started after we left), Ottawa is my home. For one thing, people say 'thank you' here. Man, it was painful sitting anywhere where I could watched Torontonians interact with any sort of sales or service staff. Seriously. The Tim Hortons where we had breakfast was agony: we each drank a medium sized drink and had a toasted bagel and in all that time, not a single person picking up their order said 'thank you.'

Folks, you may be in Toronto, but it's still Canada.

Also, there's that smell thing.

It was really good to have a wee trip. The Royal York was beautiful, and every meal was fantastic. We bought LEGO and some clothes, and the train ride back was calm and relaxing, with a beautiful full moon rising as he pulled into the station, and Venus a gorgeous spark in the sky.

"The Only Girl in the World," by C.B. Pratt

The second-last story in I Never Thought I'd See You Again is Pratt's moving piece. Here we follow a fighter pilot through training while he thinks - nearly constantly - of a face he only half-remembers, and is a little worried might not exist. He's in love with a woman he's not entirely sure isn't just an image from a marketing campaign for soap or something, half-remembered from his childhood.

When his plane is hit, and things go south for the pilot, the story picks back up with a nurse caring for him, and the true extent of his injuries start to become clear as you follow this story to an ending that I really loved, and didn't see coming at all. It's sweet, but it's a kind and bittersweet sort of story. It's nicely placed in the collection, too, a gently sad (but hopeful) story right before the last tale in the collection.