In this life, Tam Duc is eighty-five years old, weighs thirty-eight kilograms and travels from the Northern island of Cát Bà, to Năm Căn on the one leg remaining after meeting a French landmine 72 years ago. It is a journey of 2000 kilometers. Năm Căn is nothing more than the Southernmost tip of Vietnam.Continue reading “Tam’s Soul”
The pass is black with shadows. A bitter wind eats at the exposed skin of the brother and sister as they push through. They trudge through ice-crusted snow that breaks with each step plunging their legs knee-deep into the powder. Their homespun breeches and leather ankle booties do nothing to ward off the cold. MarineContinue reading “The Illusion of Comfort”
“It’s ugly here,” the little boy in the thrift-store flannel jacket whines. He walks ten feet in front kicking at brown scrub. He isn’t wrong the boy’s Dad notes, but in the tradition of long fought wars of fathers never admitting defeat this progenitor will not concede the battle either. “Maybe there is beauty inContinue reading “Box of Dubious Delights”
Before Martha died, she ordered three wool dragons from King Cole knitting company. It was one of the last things she did. The other activities she completed with her last moments of life sadly only lead her to her death and amounted to her standing on a corner waiting for a bus, which arrived muchContinue reading “One Last Gift”
On winter solstice, the farmer’s boy overhears the barn animals talking. Horse conspires with Milk-Cow,”We will feed the humans to Pig.” Pig objects, “are they kosher?” Neighing the horse shakes his head. “I’ll do it,” volunteers Goat, but morning arrives rendering them dumb saving the humans till next year.
“Elves?” the dwarf sneers. “Yes, elves, you have a problem with elves?’ Sheridan interlinks his fingers and cracks his knuckles in a threatening cacophony. ‘You racist against elves?” The dwarf cocks his head, mouth turning into a tight frown, “nah, guess I love ’em.” “Good.”
Smoke and clamor of battle surround. With a trembling hand, Talia wipes sooty sweat from her brow. This small moment earns her a slicing blow across the shoulders from the Underguard’s whip, “Move, you beast!” She does. With a groan, she lifts another pitch impregnated iron ball onto the trebuchet. No sooner does she releaseContinue reading “The Injured Rest in Death”
“As an elemental, you bend nature to your will,” the old-man lectures, pacing and tugging on his long grey beard. “Like this Papi?” the child asks holding up his hand. The old man turns and gawks at the twisting vortex of wind and lightning raging there. “Yes, Gregory,” he stammers, that’s exactly right.
Her prison is a palace on a lush island paradise. Her every desire is granted, but still, it’s a prison. Her crime? Family lineage. Through the inky blackness of night, she watches a boat approach. With it comes freedom and by the Gods her people will now know the nightmare of her name.
Green and lush, pure and perfect, she steps gingerly from crystal clear water onto the black silt bank of the deep underground lake bank. The Old One breathes deep. It has been so long since she has tasted air. Actual air. She is disappointed. The air is musky with guano and mold. She digs herContinue reading “Gaia Returns”