Ghosts of Appalachia Night
“If you’ve no pearls to clutch, you clench your fist.” I pulled my home from the mountain soil My Father’s dirt upon Grandfather’s clay
Eden on the Other Side
An old bear chewed through the soft, mango-hued skin of a pear. The sweet juices poured over the animal’s lips, mingling with the fur of her jaw to create a sticky, matted mess as the bear squeezed through an old wooden fence. She spat the seeds and the heart of the fruit out into the field grass before continuing on with her daily journey. The orchard was always the last place the bear stopped before sundown, and the owner never bothered her. She was, after all, just passing through.
Parking in Rear
How did I get here? How, in God’s name, did I get here? The body sat in the parking lot with its enormous eyes pointed up towards the night sky as drool rolled out on either side of its fishy mouth. The body, not entirely humanoid at that point, did slightly resemble a middle-aged man wearing a flesh suit that fit like a loose cicada skin and a more conventional, actual suit of Italian origin that was form-fitting. Its eyes were affixed to one of the stars in Orion’s Belt, a crude but accurate directional indicator of where its home world was located. The world, still vivid in the alien’s mind, shone with a bright green atmosphere rendered colorless by the distance. The same hue, he realized, as the fluorescent “Parking in Rear” sign that hung over the alleyway.
In Winter's Cold
Most of the deer had starved in the harsh winter as the snowdrifts came up to the stomachs of even the largest bucks. There was little to eat that year, with a poor harvest of nuts and mushroom, and with the fields, which had always been so bounteous with crops, covered with sparse patches of untended grass through spring and fall. Some had taken shelter in the abandoned barn, and a few even sheltered on the porch of the old house where the hunter had always sat alone with a rifle and his precision. It had never snowed so much, nor had it ever snowed so quickly.
King of Beasts
The tip of the Clovis spear shone from under the heavy rain, its edge well-crafted, sharp as any tool or arrow. It was tied by sinew to the end of a long, straight stick, and hoisted by a slender but toned arm partially shrouded by a deer-hide sleeve. The hunter was young, but long-used to the elements, from the cold rain and harsh winds to the days when the sun glowed so bright that the fields would boast an unearthly green. He stalked patiently, knowing that his scent and the sound of his steps would be drowned in the noise.
Only a thin wall of stretched seal hide separated the young girl from the cold waters of the arctic north. She could recall the months that her father and mother spent cleaning the hides after the hunt, and fastening it together with sinew and antlers to build the umiak. So, too, could she recall the months after as they applied oil from the slain seals to waterproof the hull, and how they cleaned the whale bones that had been passed down for three generations until they resembled fresh snow. There was only the smell of saltwater, and the sound of waves.
World of Gold
“What’s with you and marigolds?” one bee asked another. “It’s not the taste, it’s the texture, now come along.” “If you say so.”
World of Gold
“What’s with you and chrysanthemums?” one bee asked another. “It’s not the taste, it’s the texture, now come along.” “If you say so.”