Purpose

“Do you resent your purpose?” Zorina asked, tugging one of their discarded gloves over her left hand. She flexed her fingers experimentally, watching as the black organics molded to her skin. The faceted ley lines in the smart fabric remained dark. “No more than you resent yours, I imagine,” Aeron replied. They touched Zorina’s wrist,

Light as a

She stared cross-eyed at the duratyne feather her claws held aloft. It was short for a secondary, but long enough that she could lay it across her armored forearm and link her elbow and wrist. The tip was broad, the body wide—these were the pinions that locked tightly during flight, formed the airfoil and generated

She’s Fine

Solitude suits me— no susurrus of exhaled breath or half-formed words chasing ghosts from my pillow case, no warmth weighing solid against the small of my back or circling my hips. I am just fucking fine.

The Osprey

The osprey understands the physics of falling feet-first—talons snatching at soft bellies shifting beneath the murky surface—and emerging with nothing save a spray of salt. Mottled wings row a steady beat, breaking the shallows’ grasp and carving a tight trajectory clear into the clouds. Its ochre eyes sight a second flicker of shadowed water. Later,

Reunion

She leaned back on her elbows, kicking a branch into the fire with the heel of her boot. The flames protested briefly, coughing and sputtering on the damp wood, but slowly licked their way back into a crackling cone. The damp hadn’t quite crept through the thick cloak she’d laid out onto the packed snow,

Dead Letters

Every December I carefully address cards to my extended geography,  scribe canned sentiments trying to recall faces, discern whether familial patronymics are appropriate and realize I can't remember names, new children, wonder if I'll ever meet them or if I care to, if this ritual still invokes the belonging I require knowing persons missed most are already

I am salt water

When I step off the floating dock into the dragon boat, a clammy band of anxiety cinches my chest. The boat sways precariously as my teammates hop in and adjust themselves, easing their weight to the rails. I white knuckle my paddle, focusing on drums sounding over the water. A moment later, I identify my

Like Stones

Sometimes when it’s dark and the quiet rises like a solemn ghost I hear my heart thudding past the whisper of my breath, feel my ovaries like stones, weighing my belly with useless potential, and if I cross-examine the moment, brush too close to the seat of my anxiety, my lungs swell against my ribs,

A Voice

When I say that I haven’t written anything since my grandfather died, I don’t want to give you the wrong impression. I am not emotionally crippled. His death and my dog’s subsequent euthanasia didn’t dry up some supernatural creative well. I’m exhausted, maybe, but being “too tired” seems a poor excuse for laziness. Part of

The Peabody

“Do you know where the phrase ‘blood is thicker than water’ comes from?” my friend asks. We’re staggering up the massive slope of a dune, ground shifting beneath each step. Sand sieves through the mesh lining of my running shoes, entombing my feet. “No,” I admit, bracing my palms against my quads. My friend isn’t

Cemetery

The new Stormwind Cemetery was a surprisingly pleasing place to relax: fewer mounts traipsed through the cobbled streets, vendors ceased hawking their wares at the gates, and if you didn’t mind the occasional bouts of sobbing (she didn’t), it was quiet. Wonderfully quiet. Shackleton doffed her spired helmet and rested her head against a marble

Frost

Sorina watched one of the dwarf’s gnarled hands come to an uneasy rest on the heavy hammer suspended from his belt. The other meaty paw white-knuckled the handle of a massive tankard still resting on the bar. She made a point of slowly unfastening the leather baldric that secured her runeblade to her back, carefully propping

Fireworks

Every Fourth of July the local orchestra put on this fantastic rendition of the “1812 Overture.” My friends and I watched, sprawled on tattered blankets and aging plastic lawn chairs at the back of the green, agreeably wasted on cheap sangria and Smuttynose. An ancient dude in the percussion section glared furiously at his bass