Carly is a writer, digital nomad, and women's issues advocate who is currently traveling across Europe and Central Asia.
The plane touched down with a formidable shudder, a shock wave that ricocheted through the aircraft and pitched me forward onto my knees, my cheek pressed into the seat ahead of me. I waited a moment, holding my breath, listening for the screech of tires on tarmac or the purring licks of a flame to rise up around us. But there was only the familiar rumble and clatter of creaky metallic joints straining beneath the weight of our arrival. It seemed to take an eternity before the swirling blades of the propeller lagged into stillness and the plane finally came to a stop at the end of the field.
In the Valley of the Lost
There weren’t always dragons in the Valley. They had come slowly, steadily, year by year until their cavernous nests were sprawled out all across the furrowed mountains around us. We could hear their wild screeching as they called to each other through the hazy alpine air. Could see the glare of their fiery breaths illuminating the night sky in increasing numbers, each blazing point a reminder of how surrounded we’d become.
- Runner-Up in Return of the Night Owl Challenge
Under the Cover of NightRunner-Up in Return of the Night Owl Challenge
I pulled the blinds shut on my window thinking that it could block out more than just the sunlight, that it could somehow muffle the sound of the birds chirping outside, too. Their happiness felt like a slap in the face, a callous way of laughing at my misery. I rolled into a ball and yanked my tear-soaked pillow over my head. It did a better job of shutting out the cheeriness of the world, snuffing out all the light and letting me retreat into the near-silence of my muted thoughts.