Inside Out

He asked, “How’d you end up here?” “The wind swirled and lifted me into a tree.” “Oh my, how long were you stuck in the tree?” “Days! What about you?” “A fly-away branch broke my arm.” “Hey, you guys think you had it bad. My insides turned outside.” The others gasped. “I know, it was…

Suffocated

Princess Ratani stood next in line to rule, but the walls of the palace suffocated her. Her parents arranged her marriage.  Ratani longed to be free.  On the night of her betrothal, she donned commoner’s clothing and slipped through the gates.  Walking along the road, the earth trembled.  An elephant approached with a disheveled young…

Safe Place

Her mama told Nara to stay below deck.  She peeked through a tiny window at the people on shore. Their singsong voices drifted as they greeted one another, as vendors hawked their wares in the colorful market.  Will this be the place?  Returning to sit amongst her sisters, the gentle bobbing of the boat and the…

Timeshifter

It was time for her children to return from school.  Walking toward the front door, Lydia glanced at the mirror which hung in the hall. Instead of seeing her reflection, an image appeared of the ramshackle house she grew up in.  It had been demolished years before.  Moving closer to the mirror, she spied a…

Resting Place

Lily’s father placed a basket amongst the grass beside the river.  Lily felt her mother’s hand holding onto hers.  The lights danced along the river. “Why so many, father?” “Each light is the soul of a warrior who gave their life. They are making their way to their final rest at the end of the river.”…

Millionth Monday

One more shot of whiskey. One more pill to swallow. I can quit anytime. Until the pain rushes in.   “No more self-help books, just do it.” He gives me another chance. I can quit anytime. Until I remember what I long to forget.   “This isn’t what I signed up for.” He shouts as…

Sacrifice

Tuya saunters through the grass watching the herds grazing.  Her daughter, Sarnai, gleefully dances along beside her. “Mommy, I’m hungry,” yanks Tuya from her dream.  The cruel winter had taken their herds and her husband.  She and her daughter were forced to move to the city.  With little money, Tuya must choose; buy food or…

Nadari

When the Nadari walked through the Shimmer, they brought us knowledge of other worlds. They healed our sicknesses and cleaned our earth. They engendered our trust and we gave them the power to rule. But they are nothing as they first appeared. They were sent to destroy humankind. They built us up to consume us….

Tribute

“Why did you do it?” the bystander asked. The soldier answered, “We did it for John. Serving our country with pride, we left a part of ourselves in Afghanistan.”  The young man raised his prosthetic leg.  “For some of us, it’s literal.  We struggled to fit back into normal life.  John understood because he’d been there…

Too Late?

Is it too late?  Am I too old? Sasha thought while leaning against the doorframe.  Her arms crossed, she stood staring into the long-neglected music studio.  She was told she had talent, but that was a long time ago.  For years, she put her music aside.  She raised her children and had obligations that stole her…

Gondolier

Orphaned, Carlo slept in doorways.  With hat in hand, he begged for food.  “Ho fame (I’m starving).”  He hauled boxes for merchants and fished at the pier.  Scrimping, he saved enough to buy a gondola.  He enjoyed carrying passengers along the canals of Venice.  One day, a beautiful woman stepped into his boat.  They glided to…

Feathers

“They aren’t very smart, why are we watching them?” “We’ve been over this many times.” “And they are so oddly shaped too.” “Why do you care?” As the curtains dropped, the couple walked away from the window. “I don’t know …  Also, why do we have to look like this? It’s embarrassing.” “You know what the…