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ON THE COVER January, 2008

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Privileged Witness (Excerpt)
By  Rebecca Forster

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he half-naked woman came from the penthouse - she just hadn’t bothered to use the elevator. Instead, she stepped off the balcony eleven stories up. Her theatrics kept Detective Babcock from a quiet evening with a good book, a glass of wine and some very fine music. Detective Babcock didn’t hold a grudge long, though. One look at the jumper made him regret that he hadn’t arrived in time to stop her.

Beautiful even in death, the woman lay on the hot concrete as if it were her bed. Her arms were out, one crooked at an angle so that the delicate fingers of her right hand curled toward her head; the other lay straight, her left hand was open-palmed at her hip. On her right wrist was a diamond and sapphire bracelet.  A matching earring had come off at impact and was caught in her dark hair. Her slim legs were curved together.  Her feet were small and bare.  Her head was turned in profile. Her eyes were closed.  The wedding ring she wore made Horace Babcock feel just a little guilty for admiring her.  She carried her age well so that it was difficult to tell exactly how. . .

“Crap, I think I felt a raindrop.”

Babcock inclined his head. His eyes flickered toward Kurt Rippy who was hunkered to the side of a pool of blood that haloed the jumper’s head.  It was the only sign that something traumatic had occurred here. It would be different when the coroner’s people turned the body to take her away.  When they cut off the yellow silk and lace teddy at the morgue, lay her face up, naked on a metal table, they would find half her head caved in, her ribs pulverized, her pelvis shattered.  Her brain might fall out and that would be a sad sight, indeed.  How glad Babcock was to see her this way.



An illusion. 

Raising a hand toward the sky, he checked the weather. Even though the day was done it was still hot and he could see the thunderheads that had hovered over the San Bernardino Mountains for the last few days were now rolling toward Long Beach. Pity tonight would be wet when the other three hundred and sixty four days of the year had been bone dry.

“Are you almost done?” Babcock asked knowing the rain would wash away the blood and a thousand little pieces of grit and dust and things that Kurt needed to collect as a matter of course.

“Yeah. Not much to get here. I bagged her hands just in case, but she looks clean.”

Detective Babcock bridled at the adjective. It was too pedestrian for her. Hardly poetic.

She was pristine.

She was beautiful.

She was privileged.

Read Rebecca Forster's INside story on writing.IN Icon

Rebecca Forster's novel Privileged Witness will be released February 9, 2006 Signet, ISBN #0-451-21777-2

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IN This Issue
Gory Glory
Undertaker's Moon (Excerpt)
Romantic Intrigue
No Safe Place (Excerpt)
From The Docks To The Commons
The Care Vortex (excerpt)
Irish Mists And Histories
Shadows Will Fall (Excerpt)
A Mind On The Move
The Rush To Here (Excerpt)

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Bald Ego
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Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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