In the glow of the flame from the candle he held, the old man stooped by the headstone, his other gnarled, pale hand gripping the handle of his wooden cane as he leaned forward and studied the burial site. He felt a sense of dread because the grave had not been finished and was only halfway filled with dirt, as if the gravediggers had taken a break halfway through, or had fled. Dead flowers were scattered around, so he guessed it was the latter.

Using drops of wax, he stuck the candle to the headstone before letting go of his…

Photo Credit:

by Toni Shah

“It might be helpful to realize, that very probably the parents of the first native born Martians are alive today.” — Harrison ‘Jack’ Schmitt, Apollo 17 moonwalker.

When the moon landing first happened on July 20, 1969, it was the buzz of our nation and the world. Families gathered around the television to watch the grainy black and white broadcast of American astronauts leaping in slow motion across the dusty surface of our airless moon in only one-sixth the gravity of Earth. …

Photo by Joanes Andueza on Unsplash

So, apparently everyone is supposed to wear purple on Wednesday to show support for journalists. If you want to support journalists, I think everyone should learn the importance of what we do, how we do it, why we do it, and about our ethical guidelines. Know how important our jobs are for maintaining the freedoms Americans and those in other countries enjoy. Read what we write, thoughtfully comment, and learn to have an intelligent discussion instead of spreading rumors and believing unreliable sources. Learn to look past the attention-grabbing headlines to read for meaning. Newspapers are in a war to…

Two years of losing loved ones leaves a mark.

When I separated from my husband of almost 20 years, I thought I would literally die. I wanted to hitch a ride to the end of the Earth, to disappear — anything to end the pain and sorrow drowning me. I’d been a stay-at-home mom for most of my marriage. I’d quit college to be with him and put off going back to take care of a family. …

Toni Shah (Stauffer)

Reporter/Photographer for The Citizen of East Alabama newspaper, poet at, essayist, and horror writer. I have a man, don’t need another one.

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