Dr. Jasmine’s Casebook: A Bookworm’s Vadish

This story was written as a “Just for Fun” submission for the October 2016 Monthly Short Story Writing Challenge held by our writing community at the EA Forums. This is the last month to be coordinated by Carewren123, who created the contest and has been cheerfully and encouragingly managing it since the first monthly contest was held in July 2015.


“We both were so happy that our nightmare was finally over. Until mum came in and whispered in to my ear: “Nancy, the nanny who took care of you, will move in tomorrow.”

From The Spookiest Day of My Life So Far, by Hemera123

Dr. Jasmine turned off her tablet.

“These writers are just so creative these days!” she said to herself. “I do wonder where they get their ideas!”

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Dr. Jasmine reflected on the happy hours she’d enjoyed reading these past 15 months.

“I have a letter I must write,” she realized.

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Dear Carewren:

I would like to tell you about some of the stories that have moved and inspired me. I’ve been reading quite a bit lately, and each story has given me something unique and valued. I want to share my appreciation with you!

One story showed the ways that reading shapes and informs us. Summer Reading, by AdamsEve1231, presents a story of courtship. But how does the young man get to know the young woman he desires? Through reading the novels that shaped her childhood!

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In MastressAlita’s Bibliotaph, a library herself is personified in a young girl! What joy I felt at the story’s ending when the knowledge contained within the library is set free to roam through the world!

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One story, The Girl in the Tablet by lovesstorms, shows how our stories can possess us, while RaeRei’s Frozen Memories, illustrates how our memories, which are, after all, the stories we tell ourselves, can possess us.

Some stories, like The Revenge of the Lonely Witch by SummerFalls and Sofia and the Mystery of the Misplaced Melacoo by Spottydog714, helped me appreciate the ways that characters aren’t always what they seem! Every character, like every person, has hidden bits of humor and surprise, and all we need is the right writer–or the astute observer–to notice it.

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Some writers presented new insights on characters that I already loved deeply: Half Brotherhood by rednenemon and Eyeliner by InfraGreen offered fresh views of fictional characters that have become my friends in imagination.

Do you ever find that fictional characters can become as important to you as those you actually know and interact with on a daily basis? Oh, this happens to me! Especially when these characters help me get to know and understand better those people I with whom I  share my life.

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At my age, and with my profession, wouldn’t you think I’d already learned all there is to know about love, tenderness, vulnerability, and strength?

Far from it! I have learned so much from Pegasus143’s Hidden Sadness and Words Never Heard, Aiden’s Freedom by Supernatural103, and Journey to Happiness by Remi_Narrow.

To think! When we read, we gain compassion, cultivate empathy, and grow in understanding! What gifts writers give to readers!

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One story, Life on Paper by Marty, showed me that readers bring a gift to writers, too. We share our attention, our understanding, our appreciation. We say to writers, “I hear you! I have been there, too!”

Oh, Carewren! Through stories, written and read, we find our common life. We are not so different, after all, all of us living here, trying our best to find meaning, joy, love, and understanding.

These stories, and so many more, have been such a gift to bookworm me!

Do you know, Carewren, there is one more feature that all these stories have in common. And that is that none of them would have been written without you! You are there central to the creation of each, for each of these stories was written for the contest you created and have held each month for the past 15 months.

Thank you so much, Carewren, for all you’ve done for readers and writers! No wonder we can learn so much about the richness of being human through these stories, for they were all written for prompts created by you!

Sincerely,

Dr. Jasmine Gooding

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Dr. Jasmine saved the file.

“Now! If only I can find a printer!” she thought.


Dear Carewren,

As a reader, as a writer, thanks so much for all you’ve done coordinating the short story contest. Thirteen of my own stories wouldn’t have been written without you! And think of all those other stories we’ve read that owe their completion to the contest.

I am so grateful!

Much love,

Cathy Tea

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