Mary felt her eyes lingering on his face, cold now after years of silence. It had been a handsome face. Once upon a time, the strong chin and high cheekbones had seemed chiselled, manly. Now everything about him was a hard edge, jutting and serious.
“It’s going to rain,” she offers up a useless observation as a means of breaking the stifling silence at the breakfast table.
He nods once in acknowledgement before turning his attention back […]
The water sluiced past, singing without words to the rhythm of my rowing. The current’s melody rang out in clear tones, punctuated by the droplets that fell from the oar’s blade like my own tears. This river, dark gray beneath the clouds that blocked out the moon and stars, understood my sadness in a way no human had.
No pier waited for me on the other side: only the looming shadows of the forest, and the night breeze that rustled the leaves as it passed through […]
Actually, Adam sinned a lot. Until the apple debacle, he hadn’t been caught. But he had not known the implications of his fleshly actions, either. He was simply taking inventory of them: hedging bets with the pigeons, smoking grass with the monkeys, exploring Eve’s body… all in the name of discovery. Had that not, in the final analysis, been his task, to name and to know? He was just another animal. He was new at this. But bliss—maybe it was in not knowing.
Lana had not spoken in so long that her throat felt swollen. For almost two weeks she’d gone about her day nodding or shaking her head, gesturing with a hand, rolling her eyes. At meals, she had to point to the salt and mime sprinkling it on her bland food. If she needed to use the bathroom during prayer sessions, she’d raise her hand and wave toward her crotch. In three days, Lana would be permitted to speak out loud again—but by then, if all went as […]
I saw the job listing taped to a lamppost at Land’s End. It seemed like a strange place for an ad, but I figured they must be trying to catch people at their lowest, right before they jumped off the cliffs. And I was definitely at my lowest. After four months of unemployment, I was about ready to apply for a job in telesales. So, when I saw the flyer that read “Human Sacrifice urgently needed. £12 an hour”, I couldn’t believe my luck. £12 is way […]
Willie had always known, even in his earlier life, that letting anger show was a bad idea. He hadn’t been here very long, but he intuited that anger at powerful people up here was an even worse idea. Still, the man kept loading him up with work.
“Willie, call Peter,” the pager he’d been given rasped from his hip almost every day. “Call” was not to be taken literally. It meant “go see.” Or rather, […]
Erwin Schrödinger devised his thought experiment, now called ‘Schrödinger’s Cat,’ for Albert Einstein. Sitting in the lab, Maya imagined the two gray-haired men lounging together during Erwin’s visiting lectures at Princeton in 1935. Sipping iced tea in the shade of a New Jersey oak, they would have discussed the Copenhagen interpretation: that a quantum system remains in superposition until it interacts with or is observed by the external world. Thus, if one were to place a cat and a vial of radioactive elements in the steel cage, […]
You find yourself stranded on a thawing block of ice in the arctic. You can’t remember how you got here, but a polar bear and its cub are approaching from a distance. As they get closer you notice your vision starting to close in, a funnel of darkness kaleidoscopes around you. You’re struggling to breathe, to get enough air.
The heat is lifting you higher and higher as you sit in the thatched basket of a hot air balloon. Everywhere below you the water is […]