The tiny bird had a pair of legs that resembled twigs in both shape and hue. Its body was the color of dirty snow, with a chest of salt and pepper feathers. The curves of its little claws matched that of its black beak. It had brown and black patterned wings that were perfect for blending into the autumn shadows. A solid, dark brown swoosh was painted above the pure, white cheeks on either side of its round head. Its grey crown began at the point where its beak met its face and ran to the back of its skull.
Monday, June 18, 2018
When the high priestess found the neophyte, the girl was in an out of the way corner of the temple, breaking the place’s silence with her soft sobbing.
“What’s wrong, girl?”
The girl turned. Her face was red and puffy. She wiped her nose.
“What’s wrong?” the elderly priestess rubbed the girl’s back and cooed softly.
The girl sniffled. “I miss him, Priestess.”
The woman sat straight and yanked her hand away. She fell silent and her eyes filled with angry fire.
“He is in a better place. You need to be happy for him.”
“I’m trying,” the tears reappeared.
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
I tried to ignore the whispering of the midnight splotch on my back. When I woke this morning, it had spread up my back and was starting to peek over my shoulder. I thought I could feel its soft, cool breath on the side of my neck.
Who knows? Maybe I could.
There was a knock at my wagon door.
“Just a second!”
I yanked a shirt over my head, and swore when I realized it was backwards. After I’d turned my shirt around, I took a deep breath and tried to compose myself.
I opened the door.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
The most terrifying thing about the marauding sailors of the Tar Kingdom was their lack of aversion to eating human flesh. They had been, in ages past, pioneers of many navigational and shipbuilding techniques presently in common use.
While sea travel was in its infancy, the problems of hunger and thirst were of an even greater concern than today. And as is often the case, what began as a sometimes-necessity became an accepted practice. And while by no means eager to consume the flesh of men, it was rare now for a sailor to go mad after eating his fellow.
Saturday, June 9, 2018
With a final twist of the iron wheel, they sealed the bulkhead and collapsed in a heap. A moment later, a wall of water crashed against the door. They could hear the corridor filling with a soft sloshing.
It took a brave man to climb into submersible, plumb the depths of the Black Sea, and descend deep into the Boreal Trench. But as James looked into the faces trapped in that small room, he saw fear. There were no tears, no wails. Just a few wide eyes and lips pressed tightly together. They stared back at him.
“Well, now what?”
Thursday, June 7, 2018
They sat on the bed, on opposite sides. His face was in his hands and she wiped tears from her eyes.
“I can’t do this,” she said.
He turned towards her. “What are you saying?”
“I’m saying,” she exhaled. “Something needs to change.”
“You always do this!” he shot up and stormed out of the bedroom.
She just stared at the floor.
There was a crash. She rushed into the kitchen. Broken plates covered the floor. She looked in his eyes, expecting anger, but saw pain.
“The plates. They landed on my foot.”
A red stain spread across the floor.
Wednesday, June 6, 2018
“Sister, is that you?”
“Yes, it’s me,” Arawel said.
The frail, blind woman smiled. “You’ve been gone so long. I was worried something’d happened.”
“No, sister. Everything’s fine.”
“Will you stay?”
Arawel shook her head. “I can’t,” she said when she remembered Yag Tsim’s blindess.
“Why not?” The blind woman crawled towards Arawel’s voice, but quickly reached the end of her chain.
Arawel turned and left the rough cave that had been the sisters’ home. Now it was home to only one sister.
“I’ll be back,” she said.
The plaintive cry of the deceived sister followed her to the surface.