Singer in storms.
Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. Sound needs air to move in waves through the particles and molecules and dust floating in the air. Theia followed a few bits of dust floating through the beam of her headlamp, and then reached up to turn it off for a minute. She tried to breathe deeply in the cramped space, counting in and out, the way the old Skipper had taught her. Sound didn’t travel well underground, either, through the solid rock of the walls that pressed against her. It had always been quiet, though, and she had never felt anxious or trapped before. More often she felt.. held, by the cool, smooth rocks of the cave, with its familiar handholds and curves.
Sarah looked out her window at the water and remembered an afternoon in the bronze heat of the sun, feeling warm and belly-full. She lay on a thin strip of sand between the ocean and the craggy stones that violently rose up around them, and they were laughing. At what, she couldn’t remember, now. “The devil’s symphony,” he loudly intoned, making fun of her shrieks, while doing all he could to induce them. She hadn’t known she could laugh like that, before she met him. She turned away from the window to finish packing. They hadn't talked in years, but she'd tried to get a hold of him last week, after the wave. He hadn't answered.
When Hannah dropped her friend off at the airport, the traffic they’d been sitting in for an hour at the exit ramp to the terminal meant they had to kiss cheeks in the car, and talk over one another as they said what a wonderful trip it had been and I’ll send pictures and be safe and I love you and talk soon. Then the security guard was blowing his whistle at the line of cars, maybe at Hannah, she couldn’t really tell, and she eased back into the steady stream of solo drivers. Some of them were surely relieved to be relieved of their passengers. Maybe others were crying. Hannah suddenly felt frightened to be alone, while also knowing that this was why she had come out here. The first half of the trip, with her friend, had been meant to gather strength for the second. Hannah didn’t have plans, not any real ones, for this week. Just one word, one destination, one place to get to, by the 11th. Taos.
The Absence of Heat
She didn’t think she would survive the first winter. She hadn’t thought the trees would survive, either. They had moved into the yellow house in April, as soon as it was warm enough to pretend the space heaters scattered around the first floor would hold them until they got the wood stove sorted. They told themselves they had at least six months to figure the heat out.
A Sun Dog Afternoon
There were rituals to coming home that had to be closely observed, if the delicate peace the house had achieved was to be maintained. It was called Sugar Valley on the map, but Sara laughed out loud the first time she saw it written. No one who had ever lived there called it that. Home is almost always a bittersweet place, she thought, and Sugar Valley was surely more bitter than sweet. Maybe that’s how most everyone felt about their home, though.
- First Place in SFS 5: Raging Bull Challenge
The JornadaFirst Place in SFS 5: Raging Bull Challenge
Sara looked at the muddy road in front of her and knew she should have stopped at the second gate, where the road turned from gravel to dirt. She had only been at the station for a few days, and she didn’t even know how to reach the range manager. Less than five minutes and barely a mile later, she came up on a long stretch of water where the road was supposed to be. She wasn’t surprised when the wheels started spinning, and she slowly rolled to a stop. She was looking down at her phone and trying to push aside her pride when she saw the lights bouncing towards her in the rearview mirror, and the 4x4 pulled up beside her.
The Killing Field
She wasn’t nervous. She didn’t get nervous anymore. The years of lecturing had worn down the fear that she would forget what to say, until it was smooth and polished, like a small marble she could just flick away. It was just the way her hair was pulled up and back from her face tonight, she thought.
She was on the island when it began. The lights flickered above the small table. They were just six miles from the mainland, but it might as well have been a thousand. The ocean had turned against them, so very suddenly it seemed, though there were a great many who had been predicting such an event. They’d spoken as often and loudly as they could over the years - about the acidification of the oceans, rising water temperatures, and the melting of the glaciers and icebergs. She hadn’t understood it all, or maybe hadn’t paid enough attention, but she should have, she knew now.