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About Cyndi MacMillan
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Cyndi MacMillan is a well-rounded writer who embraces many genres and forms. Her work has been published in local newspapers and has won contests. She enjoys reading literary journals, and she is actively pursuing publication within their glossy covers.

Verse is both magnetic and kinetic. She attempts - madly- to give equal attention to her poetry, short stories, and a novel-in-progress, the Trim of Wicks.  Regardless of genre, she focuses on language. One word has the power to repel or pull. She never forgets the reader and does her best to make their ride interesting.

Poetry soup is a good forum which enables people from around the world to share poetry. It has some great resources and provides a nice space for friends to meet.

Cyndi lives in a small town in Ontario with her husband, young daughter and far too many books.

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THE STAND, A SHORT STORY


Blog Posted:1/6/2014 9:47:00 PM


The eyes of Sarlissia were as large as the seventh moon of her  parent's planet. Not yet five, she stood before one of the bloodied walls of the Commons, her shimmering skin almost translucent after a year of near-starvation. Hope was gone. She'd been caught.

Until now, she'd managed to survive the culling of her people, the Atramillons. Quickly, so quickly, she'd become apt at hiding from the League of Cleansing and their vicious hounds, laying low in rodent tunnels or remaining still for days in the tight, mud caves of a nearby bog.

Six times this season, she'd travel North to the city of her birth, risking execution. Praise the Maker-Being, there were those who did not hate her species, those who endangered themselves and their families by being merciful.. Many of the Others offered her small amounts of food and water, a pair of shoes, one had even provided her with a knife. Sarlissia realized what would happen to those who had helped her, and though she now faced her death, she refused to call out, choosing to protect her protectors.

Most windows of the nearby homes were dark, but she could still see several curtains lift. The Others who had cared enough to give her scraps were a mere forty feet away. But she took small, shallow breaths and accepted that she was soon to become light and join all those who had been culled before her.

"Rot, where are your parents?" one of the soldiers asked.

Sarlissia bit her lips, tried to still the quiver that had begun in her knees.

"Clip her. Then we won't be able to shut her up."

Four heads turned as a door opened.

It was Marion, kind Marion who'd given her more than any Other. Sarlissia shook her head, beseeched the kind lady with her eyes to turn and leave.

Instead, Marian dashed towards her, wailing. One soldier lifted his assault rifle, but his Sergeant pushed the weapon down. "Wait!"

"Please, don't!" Sarlissia cried. "I am ready to die."

Marian reached the child, stroked her softly glowing cheek. "We have been silent too long. And I will no longer stand by to see the slaughter of the innocents. May your kind forgive us, one day."

"Stand aside," The Sergeant called.  "They must be eradicated."

"I will not move." Marion lifted her chin. "You will have to cull me, too. Son."

The Sergeant shifted. "Mother, they are not human, they are worse than vermin, capable of destroying the logic of nature, capable of-"

"What? Changing shape, healing, traveling through time? Yes. I know." Marion sighed. "What have you done, Thomas? My God, what have we all done? Can't you see that she means no harm? Her species deserved a chance. It was a mistake, one mistake-"

"One mistake that changed the course of history. Mankind cannot chance that kind of power in the hands of those we do not know and are unable to trust. Order must be restored, no matter by what means. No matter the cost. It is for the good of the many."

"Are you hearing yourself? We are the monsters, can't you see that? Marion shielded Sarlissia, her voice gruff. "Do what you must do and I will do what I should have done, long, long ago."

Sarlissia tried to move, but Marion held her fast.

Suddenly, several doors opened. Sarlissia began to weep, unable to control her fear for her beloved Others as more and more began to run towards her. Shame of jeopardizing these kind strangers consumed her. She should have stayed away.

Soon, there were dozens of Others around her, united in their want to save her. The crowd grew to be hundreds


The soldiers stood frozen, uncertain of what to do. Before them stood their friends and family, people they had known their entire lives.

It seemed like a century until the Sergeant lowered his rifle. One by one the other soldier did the same. Weapons fell to the ground. There was a moment of silence, of stunned disbelief that Law would be broken.

Then Sarlissia looked up, smiled at Marion and nodded. The Others parted and the glowing girl walked towards the soldiers.

She reached out and light traveled between her and the Sergeant, seemed to sing in the air around them. He dropped to his knees and began to weep.

Sarlissia leaned forward, pressed her forehead against his and whispered, "Hush, I forgive you. After all, you're only human"



-------the---?----beginning------

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  1. Date: 1/7/2014 8:12:00 PM
    Where did you get the idea? : D Inspired by true events? : D I enjoyed the reading and I love the message. You made me feel the emotion. Do you know how many words? I don't want to count them! :D You mentioned that you didn't revise it yet and I would like to see the results after the edition. Great work, Cyndi!

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  1. Date: 1/7/2014 7:08:00 PM
    With tears....I say beautiful Cyndi. It's all I have to give in this weakened state. Beautiful

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  1. Date: 1/7/2014 2:19:00 PM
    Wow! I missed the angels allusion. That could be even more powerful, if you could hint at it a bit more at the end and maybe not use the Atramillions term in the beginning. Angels go back as far as Zoroastrianism, predating Judaism, in fact Judaism got the entire hierarchy of angels from it. Angel means "messenger" so perhaps you could use a corrupted form of that or a similar word to use as the name of her race.

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/7/2014 5:47:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Will have to find something not too obvious but give an aha at the end.. yes, worth researching! Hey... I'm inspired by everything and everyone. This came into play for this story, too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmZg7tvGN9o
  1. Date: 1/7/2014 1:12:00 PM
    Tweak away, Cyndi. The only thing I would suggest, provided you want to keep it as a short story, is to add more surprise to the end, in the tradition of O. Henry. Remember the "To Serve Man" episode from The Twilight Zone? Specifically, make the glowing more subtle at the beginning, although I must say I didn't pick up on it at the first read, so it might be OK as is. A good short story is like a Haiku. It should leave unanswered questions in the reader's mind, that they can fill in with their own imagination. That's what I like about them. I can still remember some short stories better than some trilogies.

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/7/2014 1:26:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    :D to serve man! Yes! An awesome episode. I was trying to allude to Angels... but yes, I can tweak the earlier mentions to be more subtle. Thanks. Good advice!
  1. Date: 1/7/2014 10:33:00 AM
    Cyndi I am commenting again because it's worthy of a second comment,,,,well done…….David

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  1. Date: 1/7/2014 10:08:00 AM
    Now you have us hooked I would like to know more about what she looks like and how she is actually different from humans! ;) "May I have some more please?"

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  1. Date: 1/7/2014 9:02:00 AM
    I usually edit to the teeth, but posted this quickly. One big flaw..., beseeched the kind lady with her eyes to turn and leave. Ummm... lol... the kind lady now HAS Sarlissia's eyes??? Oops! Also, there is absolutely power in even one word.Sarlissia began to weep, unable to control her fear ""FOR"" her beloved Others... of or for... ah, the power of ONE word. Now, lastly, I would like to add ONE word to the last line. FEEL THE IMPACT OF ONE WORD... "Hush, I've ALREADY forgiveN you. After all, you're only human." ALREADY... one word. What do you think?

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    O. Avatar Ruben O. Date: 1/7/2014 7:47:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    ... "already forgiven"
    Thomas Avatar F. J. Thomas Date: 1/7/2014 7:13:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    ...*than
    Thomas Avatar F. J. Thomas Date: 1/7/2014 7:12:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    It's okay Cyndi; when I think of weeping I think of something more gentler then sobbing. Therefore I do not consider them to be the same; but I understand your point.
    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/7/2014 9:11:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    And another edit... I'd say the Sergeant was sobbing. I don't like the repetition of the word "weeping" I prefer to leave that word to the protagonist... and sobbing is a stronger verb, has more "visual" impact for the reader.
  1. Date: 1/7/2014 8:48:00 AM
    A very beautiful story..It would be great seen as a movie too.Definitely misted my eyes dear.

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/7/2014 9:11:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Happy it touched you.. thank you!!!
  1. Date: 1/7/2014 8:18:00 AM
    this seems to me like a parable or metaphor for something else. Nicely done.

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/7/2014 9:04:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Some will see it as a parable about forgiveness. Others, of courage. A few may see it about cowardice. I'm hoping most see it about two things: courage and forgiveness. Inspiration comes from everywhere. Thanks!
  1. Date: 1/7/2014 7:56:00 AM
    Ahhh my girl, I hear you, the joys of metaphor...

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/7/2014 9:05:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    See my comment to Andrea, Sis... yes, writing is the BEST medicine.
  1. Date: 1/7/2014 7:15:00 AM
    Cyndi, this short story would have made a perfect Twilight Zone episode. I love short stories and I think they are a form that we have mostly lost, as they were usually published in periodicals. I am sick of SF writers that take an idea and try to milk 9 books out of it, like S. M. Stirling. Your story leaves a sense of wonder, like the best SF short stories always did.

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/7/2014 9:07:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    You floored me! I'm wearing a goofy grin, Roy. You've no idea how touched I am by your comment. I was a HUGE fan of the Twilight Zone and my fiction pen squeaks a bit, as its been writing mostly poesies. Thank you so much. I'm blushing!
  1. Date: 1/7/2014 3:21:00 AM
    Cyndi This is great and it is definitely a beginning we need to see where it will end? The message is good and clear to oppressors in all walks of life, very poetic, I like it a lot….David

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    MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan Date: 1/7/2014 9:09:00 AM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    David, thank you. I'm so glad you liked it. And I am so glad that I wrote it. Writers find inspiration .. or... lol ... are GIFTED it. Hugs!

My Past Blog Posts

 
Terrorist attack at Parliament. Ottawa, our national capital, is on lockdown.
Date Posted: 10/22/2014 11:59:00 AM
PUBLICATION ETIQUETTE, TWO IMPORTANT THINGS
Date Posted: 10/16/2014 5:28:00 AM
****EDIT******POETRY AS LITERATURE AND AS SELF-EXPRESSION. YOU DON'T NEED TO CHOOSE.
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ANOTHER WOWSER. TRULY BEAUTIFUL. COME IN FOR A CHAT.
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A ROMANTIC POEM I THINK MOST WILL LOVE, COMMON GROUND, COME TAKE A PEEK
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How I judge Contests by Cyndi MacMillan
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A RESPONSE FROM MAUREEN HYNES
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MAUREEN SAYS SHE LOVES MY RESPONSE
Date Posted: 9/8/2014 10:25:00 AM
READING POEMS LIKE A POET, INCLUDES AN ANALYSIS
Date Posted: 9/6/2014 6:23:00 PM
PUNK TUATION IN POETRY
Date Posted: 9/4/2014 9:39:00 PM
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GINGHAM AND LACE, ANOTHER BLITZ
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