Holly Van Hare
Chalk makes a grating sound; I know it well. I listen to its gravel talk daily as it etches numbers into memories I’ll nightly make no sense of. The room reeks of sterility, or wheat flour, or quicksand. I fear its dusty, dry residue I slip and sink slowly beneath.
It has become a ritual—a daily perspiration. Trying to keep up to avoid the smoke on Ms. Gurney’s breath, hot as coals as she leans close to my face and reviews my paper. Stern instructions hang […]
And so it came to be, as it very often is, that the true monster of the tale was revealed long after you, Dear Heart, had toddled off to bed.
But have you not yet grasped that, “And so they lived happily ever after,” is but a cue for innocent heads to rest on welcoming pillows and dream before said dreams have learned to sharpen their teeth?
Do you not realize that children are to be sent away at Intermission, but you, Dear Hardened Heart, must […]
Rodney E Schmidt
The shop had no use for a name. Everyone knew about the controversial technology inside, but very few saw it work. It was hard to get an appointment and even harder to convince people that Clarity Glass wasn’t a tool for the government anymore. The U.S. Army used it for interrogating terrorists; entrepreneurs marketed it as a cure for digital extroverts who became introverts in the real world.
Between a closed-down jewelry shop and a Greek cafe in downtown Los Angeles, the shop advertised Clarity […]
From her position in the middle of the line, Bianca Hernandez suppressed a shudder. It wasn’t cold under the contest site’s dome, but the ten-foot piles of snow outside the barrier persuaded her mind she should wear more than shorts and a T-shirt. Some of the other contestants didn’t even wear that much, relying on their furry bodies for protection.
She was the only human competing among the entrants. Like Earth, the other civilizations in the contest came from the far edge of the Milky Way Galaxy. […]
The old man stood with his hands behind his back, oblivious to the new eyes that were on him. His skin was tan and wrinkled, his left hand home to a weathered gold ring. He wore a black cap pulled low over his eyes and a tan jacket that she thought might smell faintly of smoke. If only she could get closer.
The woman rounded the corner, stopped, and peered into the wine cooler. Santa Margherita on sale, Ruffino full price. She was sure he’d be gone by the […]
A teacher says that when a story stalls, I should make a person appear at the door.
“Who is it?” I ask.
A brown-haired monkey appears. When invited in, the creature climbs on the crystal chandelier in the foyer. Running to find the kitchen, she discovers the granite island where a bowl of fruit taunts. After devouring three bananas, the monkey then swallows down the remainder of my egg salad sandwich. My stomach growls and I throw her out.
“Who is it?” I call again.