Ghost with a Cigarette

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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

Running

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

Curses (Infatuation)

“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

Overstayed

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

Kick (Flash Fiction Challenge)

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.”

Continue reading

Harbor (Flash Fiction Challenge)

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.

Continue reading

Darling Sees the Wolf

[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

Tribes: Note 6

6thstreet“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

Tribes: Note 5

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

Tribes: Note 3

bridge“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.

Continue reading

Tribes: Note 2

pizzaIt 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

Tribes: Note 1

queensboroThey call it a haunting when a spirit attaches to a place and won’t let go. Sometimes, they say, it happens with people, too. Ghosts cling to the living, meddling in those things they’re no longer able to control. Everywhere you go, they follow.

Continue reading

June 2014

There’s something either chocolate or caramel on my arm from where I held the patisserie bag.

The ducks are splashing through the part of the park that goes underwater when it rains. I think how so many people believe life’s secrets can be found in nature.

Here is a duck fluffing its butt. Nothing elegant or mysterious there, just the echo of nature justifying “Do what you can, when you must, and try to survive.”

But really, is it honey mustard?