Lizzie and the Bull
When Grandma left for the stars, her children journeyed back to the island to help strip their childhood home to its bones. While they all stepped from ferry to dock, my mother and I had the luxury of a brief stroll. I had long memorized the imagined trail from our house to Grandma’s, and I’d learned to watch for the home’s Victorian trim growing over the hill as we neared its peak. That day however, my mother refused to let me stop for stones or eye-catching fungi. There would be no window sills for Grandma to display them; no stews for Grandma to add them to.
Funeral Flowers: How I Found Peace in the Art of Preservation
Losing Yourself in a Loss In the weeks following my father’s passing, the once bright and fragrant funeral flowers had begun to wilt, sag, and mold. It was bleak to see their vibrant colours fade, and the comfort they’d initially brought slowly shifted to dread. Their decay was a reminder, that while I’d been stuck in my bubble of mourning, the rest of the world had continued to move forward.
Delivery for Room 812
There was a well founded reason Jacob Bringsley couldn’t bring himself to open the parcel handed to him moments prior, and the mere thought of that reason, tempted him to leap from the hotel balcony.
When Ginger learned her father had left for a mistress in Maui, it was eleven days short of her thirteenth birthday. Her mother was neither surprised nor devastated by the news; in fact, she was annoyed by the hassle of pretending to be heartbroken. Ginger happily helped with the theatrics that would save them both the boredom of crocodile tears: rouge to the nose, smudged mascara, and piles of wrinkled tissues, crumpled for show, as neither considered wasting tears over the man’s absence.
Pretty in White
“Oh, it’s horrid. Hideous. You can’t wear it, I won’t let you,” he insisted, tail whipping behind him furiously, left to right, like eyes to a tennis match. His stare was yellow and unblinking, the slits of his pupils thin as pencil lead. He was perched in the rafters, watching me from above. I laughed.
Maisie shrieked, shrinking helplessly from the decayed femur dangled inches from her face. Her brother’s laughter rang like a kettle, hissing and muddling her wails. He swung it past her chin, soil untangling in clumps that fell to Maisie’s chest. Her screams bubbled into sobs, the dirt crumbling more with each taunting shake, sprinkled from the tangle of roots. In the dim light of the barn, it looked like spiderwebs, thin and sticky with pests.
Kyra gripped the balcony’s edge, rust poking into her palms like mirror shards, metallic and cold. The air was heavier than usual; thick with smoke from distant explosions, the pops and sizzles a sound she’d long learned to ignore. Her lashes collected sweat with the snowflake-like soot drifting casually from the sky.
I see through feigned smiles; fogged glass wiped clear with sweater sleeves, your grin thin flimsy forced