“Design me,” said the clay. “Mold me. Make me unique.” Continue reading
Lyssa learns her new scars by tracing them in the mirror. Still raw and puckered between the stitches. She holds her breath and counts until she can’t look anymore. Yesterday she made it to twenty-seven. Today it’s only eight. She wraps her stomach back up and goes to feed the baby.Continue reading
This part of the walk always gives me the creeps, but my dog pulls behind the circle of apartment houses, back at the edge of the creek, with no regard for my fears. Animals are supposed to be more attuned to the spirit world, right? So if there’s something out there, she would know. This is what I tell myself as she takes a leisurely squat next to the loquat. I ready a plastic bag, and just as it closes around the warm excretion steaming into the night air, I hear it. Click. Whiff. Continue reading
Sylvia had all the next day to talk herself out of the party. As sun set, she sucked on menthols and paced the balcony shared with the other smokers on her side of the building. It had a view of a brick wall. Inspiring.
Thirty steps to the river. Twenty-nine back to the scrub brush. I pull myself by the limbs, up into the canopy.
Eight weeks since the bombs fell and I ran. I ran. I ran. The water runs here, too. There’s safety in likeness, so I thought. Continue reading
“Sorry.” Her fingers grazed my back. I’d forgotten that feeling, like kittens climbing your spine and curling in your throat. Warm and matted and mewling. Disgusting, if you think about it. Who thinks about it at the time? Kittens in your throat. That’s gross. Continue reading
Where the wind blew pine needles across the roof. Scritch, scritch.
I didn’t know it would be this long.
I never would’ve let the dog out.
Never would’ve kissed you under the wolf moon. They say it’s cursed. Now we know.
Scritch. Continue reading
Francis squinted until it looked like his toes were walking across the mud brown river, instead of swinging midair from the academy windowsill. That way his kicks could carve waves, bashing the cherry-red ferry tours against each other like toys in the bathtub.
The dorm attendant dawdled past his open door. “They just rang. I’m sorry, Francis.”
Every hoofbeat churned the smooth-washed beach. Here along the inlet was the only place to spy incoming ships. Lee and Finn had raced them to the harbor since they were young.
But there’d been no ships. Not lately. And the men were no longer young. Still Lee noticed Finn pushed faster along this stretch. No longer a race. A retreat.
[PS, this has been my first Daily Prompt ever, Flee!]
County Sheepshire lies between the wooded hollows in the Valley Without Name. Imagine a sleepy part of the country, spread with idyllic farms and jovial townspeople who’ll gladly take a traveler in, in exchange for a hard day’s work. Who raise barns overnight and drink warm cider, and whose most pressing concern is whether the weather will hold for the season. There, can you imagine it? Yes, just like that. A bucolic paradise. Well County Sheepshire is nothing like that. County Sheepshire is a fucking terror. Continue reading
“Do you two know each other?” Isabel’s little coins jingled on her skirt.
Sylvia was convinced this must be a setup. She had stumbled through this new city for months without recognizing a single face, seeing a single individual more than once. But here he was, the Man on the Bridge. Noah, rather. Now he had a name. Continue reading
Those deepest things you might never tell to your best friend somehow always come out to the Thoughtful Stranger, poised entirely out of your own context. First impressions make first derisions, but not with the Thoughtful Stranger. Sylvia found herself telling the woman with the perfect eyeliner much more than she intended: the truth. Continue reading
The truth was layered thick:
Sylvia did not know why she had left New York, or Liam. Her job. Weekends upstate where everything was bold and green, unlike here where the world withered into a faded brown.
“Give yourself some time. You’ve been there a day. Jesus.” Of course Liam was right. He always tried so hard to be.
“I’m so bad at meeting people.” Sylvia thought it funny: she had no recollection of ever meeting him. Liam had always been.
It had been at that greasy pizza place near Fort Lee, alight in fluorescent opulence, where she last saw Liam. Outside that pocket of majesty, the world was still and dark. Sylvia had sat alone, spinning strands of cheese around her fingers before biting the gobs off. Continue reading