The Heart of the Mountain

The hike up the mountain had been steep, and arduous, and screed. Fine scree underfoot on the lone flat saddle and more gradual slopes created gardens of wildflowers: gardens of lupine and verbena and paintbrush and heather and aster and penstemon and anemone. But scree of any grain size on the steeps left nothing to hold onto besides the assurance that nothing is secure, that it is best to learn to move with the pulse of the mountain, to understand that one step forward could mean nothing and everything at once, that one step contained the entirety of a world and all its possibilities.

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Heavy as a Butterfly Ball

Ryan looked out the window. The tall pines swayed in the strong breeze. Their bristles had started to turn from green to brown. The winds blustered violently. He glanced at the uprooted tree, sorry for the thick mesh of roots that had been torn and uncovered by the storm.

The night before, Ryan had been awake in bed answering an email from his boss, his fiancée Sarah asleep by his side. He’d seen the flash, then the tear in the sky, and seconds later heard a creaking groan

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The Thing about Rivers

Little rivers started forming first. We didn’t know where they came from, but they started showing up everywhere. And in the strangest places. Mrs. Belfre discovered one on 7th and Main, that started at the top of the Geller building.

Yes. The top. And the river just flowed down the side of the building and into the street, where it disappeared near John’s Bodega.

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I had been gone from my apartment for eleven days, caring for my widowed mother in a big house on a small lake not too very far away. And when I returned home, my bag in hand, I opened the front door to find that Jason was gone. Again.

I climbed the stairs and stood in the doorway of our bedroom,

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Brothers on a Train

Benjamin is dead. In later years, this is what Abraham Newman got used to telling others, his self included.

The Newman brothers were as diametrically different as night and day. Their mother Maisie reckoned nature had forgotten to hang out the moon the evening she gave birth to a boy child on August 11, 1899. After a quick labor, Abraham emerged high-speed from the tunnel, dark as the night, eyes like nuggets of coal and voice screeching like a tortured soul in search of light.

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After I lost Sébastien and my baby to the fever, I found myself on a bench in El Trebol bus station. I knew I was waiting for the bus to Antigua, where Sebs and I met. We weren’t of Guatemala City. His ghost won’t walk these streets. I don’t know the time or how I got to this bench, but I must be on that bus. I check the inside pocket of my jacket. I have my ticket. Its presence is reassuring.

Continue reading… "DIA DE LOS MUERTOS"

Provenance: Aegean Apparitions

I looked up from my drawing into the blinding sunlight but could not see more than the silhouettes of the bodies speaking above me. Among the dark, deep voices speaking rapid Greek was a familiar woman’s voice also speaking in that strange language, all oo’s and k’s and plosive p’s. Beside me in the trench dug ten feet into this archeological earth was another member of the Brit team, a girl in her twenties named Juliet. She and I got on only civilly because she was a London type and I was a Scot she nicknamed ‘Burr’

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The Murder of Toads, 1958

On Tuesday, Henry has an algebra test that he’s going to fail so he skips class and since he’s probably going to catch it anyway, he swipes his father’s .38 from the back of the closet where his pop thinks it’s hidden. His pop’s got a box of bullets there too, and he’s never noticed before that some of the rounds are missing. His dad is drunk most of the time anyway, so he probably wouldn’t suspect Henry if Henry just flat out stole the pistol and sold it. The old man would probably just think he’d misplaced it.

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Act Two

Between takes, the beloved comedian sat in his trailer, nursing a LaCroix and streaming the Indians and Royals on a late model MacBook.

He was slouching in the orange and brown plaid upholstered dining nook. Change comes slowly to set-trailer décor. There was a largely untouched food platter by the mini-sink glistening with unaccountably tasteless melon slices and strawberries.

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