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

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,

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

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

Solicitude

Before it rains, a low-pressure system swirls beneath my patella and slips slowly past my internal Coriolis back into pure atmosphere. Before it rains, I feel the aching damp, a catch in each unhurried step – umbrella spines briefly declining to align before reaching an understanding. Before it rains, I carry this interminable gray sky,

Valentine

At precisely 6:14 p.m., a key turns in a door. As it opens, a slice of fluorescent brilliance knifes into a twilit room, illuminating a white cat. The innocuous bundle of fluff remains impassive until the person attached to the key strides into the isosceles light and pushes the door shut. Locks it. “Miao,” the

In Just Spring

When the weather is just warm enough, I pass streams of school children spooling around sidewalk bends. They run as part of some morning PE ritual, following the long concrete path from school to street to orange cone. This cone marks a half-mile halfway point, seems to signal, we are in the home stretch.  

Anger Management

“You’re two apologies short of an anger management problem,” she says, folding hands with chewed nails into the v of her lap. I mimic, adopt a placating posture, explain—I don’t get angry. I avoid confrontation, use the restroom two floors down to eschew through-stall conversations, take the stairs rather than risk the possibility of an

Asking For It

The sun hasn’t come up yet. A young woman briefly checks the weather on her mobile phone, notes the unseasonably warm temperatures predicted for the afternoon, and selects a summery dress from her closet. She hurriedly finishes her morning ablutions, fills an aluminum tumbler with coffee, forgets to snag her pre-packed lunch from the refrigerator,