Thursday Doors: Summer in Perpignan

Yesterday, my husband and I took a thirty-minute walk to the downtown Perpignan prefecture where we picked up our new resident permits for France.  We’ve been waiting for months for our visa to be extended.  I don’t go out much yet.  But, we needed to go.   The weather was warm and sunny, so the stroll was refreshing as…

The Good Old Days

Sharon laughed with her brother. “Remember our family trips to the ocean, Doug?  Crammed in the car, no seatbelts, snaking over the back seat to sleep in the tail end of the station wagon?” Doug nodded.  “Yeah, I remember racing through our neighborhood on our Schwinn bikes, free as a bird without the hassle of helmets” “My…

Many Other Worlds

In the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors. (William Blake) One horrible day, my internet went down.  I wondered how I would cope.  There was news to read, emails to send, Zoom calls to join, and social media to engage with. Frustrated, I decided to go…

What’s Important

A language Sally did not understand swirled around her in chaotic jibberish.  The laughter of patrons eating at the dumpling shops unnerved her.   Why am I here?  Five years later, Sally sat at a wobbly table.  Surrounded by friends, she gripped a pair of chopsticks with acceptable form.  The taste of savory dumplings delighted her tongue.  She lay down…

Warnings

The day began with her daughter’s screams.  The little girl writhed back and forth atop the stained mattress.  “Why her?” Matilin asked the dark as she made her way to her daughter.   The dreaded nightmares of a Seer should have been passed down to Matilin instead of Royanna.  For months, they had fled from one hiding place…

Never Forgotten

We fell deeply in love when we were young.  We built a family and watched them grow.  We laughed, fought, loved, and cried.  As our backs bent and our minds faltered, we sat together.  Your camaraderie was more than enough for me.  This world of woe spun around, but we hung on until you let go.  I don’t blame you, you…

Retirement

They promised better days for our golden years.  I stood with the others at the bank of the Seine River.  Travel pods floated toward us.   Theo stepped up beside me. “No! It’s not your time,” I argued. “Your time is my time.” The pod was roomier than I imagined, and the travel time shorter.  After landing with a slight thump, Theo…

Currency

We were warned.   It all started in only a few places. Far-off waterways clogged with trash. Places where the populace had no choice but to draw water from putrid smelling rivers to drink and to cook with.  The same waters where factories dumped their waste.   As populations grew to bursting, potable water grew scarce everywhere.  It was hoarded and…

Passed Down

Jin-sun jolted awake to the sound of the phone ringing. “Meet me in Seoul,” his sister said.  “It is time.” The Gwangkang market in Seoul was abuzz with life. Traditional dishes were served at food stalls and shops that were handed down from one family member to another.  Jin-sun and his sister entered the pork dumpling shop where…

The Baker

The Baker wished for a fairytale version of life.  One that did not include lies and deceit.  He had a gift, but rarely used it.  Growing tired of the world as it was, he placed inside his cookie dough a small amount of magic.  When someone took a bite of a cookie, their face would appear brilliant red to…

Chosen Ones

He led her by the hand deep inside the forest. Sitting beneath the shade of an ancient banyan tree, its branches reached to the ground and embraced her.  A serene expression fluttered across her face, and then she was gone.   No one in the village believed him when he said, “The tree took her.” Years passed.  He was…

Choice

The quiet of the morning replaced the soothing sounds of the night.  The tide had pulled away from the shore, taking with it the gentle rushing waves.  I stood as the sun rose and looked to the horizon.   What waited for me?  Did it matter?  My mother had sold me to a stranger, a much older man.   Warm breath…