A west-blowing wind moved over the grassland, billowing Henry’s pants and shirt wildly about him and tousling his hair so that it whipped violently onto his face. He did not shake the hair from his eyes. His attention, instead, was focused completely on his hands held out before him, on the fingers that twitched ever so slightly as if they were keeping time to some melody that he could not hear but could only feel.Read more.
Jen and I became a couple in 1988 during my third year teaching in Juneau, Alaska. She was living in a big rented house out on Auke Bay with a handful of other people, one of whom was a good friend of mine who’d been on the same coed soccer team with her. It was so long ago now, I don’t remember exactly how she and I first became romantic together.Read more.
I’ve always loved cemeteries, but my parents said I was tempting fate. Every time I cut through the graveyard to walk home from school, my mom would be waiting on the porch, hand covering her mouth as if she had held her breath since the bell rang. She somehow always knew the days I took the shortcut. Her pale face beckoned me inside quickly, lest a spirit should have followed me.Read more.
Hands grab and thrust me midair. At first, I flail, trying to gain traction, but realize its futile, her grip convincing. The overhead florescent is glaring. I don’t recognize this room. A dusty ceiling fan hums an awkward buzz, stacks of paperwork and torn Amazon boxes clutter the desk. They pace, shuffling towers of sweaters, pillows, and shoes. The jingle of a dog collar tests my concentration. Sugar?Read more.
I put down the book. Once I saw where it was going, I couldn’t continue to follow the words to their inevitable conclusion. That’s new. I used to make a fetish of finishing every book I started. The writing was fine. Closing the book had nothing to do with the writing, just the story. It’s about a woman older than young, younger than old, who has been done wrong by the world.Read more.
Ashley moved to New Mexico because her mother’s relentless grief was driving her mad. It’d been six months since Dad died, and she couldn’t brush her teeth in the morning without hearing Mom’s moans drift down their lifeless hallways like a specter cursed to haunt her every waking breath. She tried to hide Dad’s pictures in the attic, but she saw his waxy corpse in every tear that slipped off Mom’s hollow cheeks.Read more.
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