Florence watched through the window, as the lamplighter worked down the street. The methodical routine soothed her jangled nerves. The man bent to twist the knob and start the gas flowing, then reached up with the pole-mounted lighter. He pulled a lever and the striker sparked. A cheery glow spilled across the cobblestones as he moved onto the next post. Twist. Spark. Glow. Repeat. Continue reading
Afternoon sun blazed liquid gold across the heavens. The maples were dressed in crimson buds, the birches sported verdant green catkins. Even the murky river reflected a rainbow of Springtime hues.
I never imagined myself on the lam. (Or is it “on the lamb”? I can never remember.) All I ever wanted was to live on pasture. Dozing in the summer sunshine, flicking flies off my nose with my tail. Listening to the symphony of the meadow. Singing birds, buzzing bees, chirping frogs to keep me company. Perhaps – when bored – trying to decipher the secrets whispered between the breeze and the broad canopies of the maple trees. A simple, pastoral life. Continue reading
I was fading from the mirror. It was nearly imperceptible at first. My hair seemed drab, skin sallow. I tried dyes and make up. Disappointed with a natural bronze, I moved to shades more vivid, even lurid. Crimson lips and smokey eyes. Nothing worked. I was a washed out photograph, colors bleached by the sun. People were too polite to mention it. I expected comments like – Oh, Sasha you look so pale! Are you feeling alright? They never came. Everyone just looked the other way. Continue reading
A slight figure stood barefoot in the night. I stopped short. A street light hummed insistently. The fact she was out alone at this hour was troubling. Her hair smelled like smoke. Not the clean woodsy scent of a campfire. The potent, acrid stench of insulation, plastic, and desperation. Fire was an adversary I knew so well that I had forgotten how to hate it. This child had been in a house fire. Recently. Continue reading
She never felt lonely, going home each night to an empty apartment. She filled it with books, music, and expensive wine. She was independent, stubbornly so. If she couldn’t do a thing, she taught herself how. Or learned to do without. She was drunk on autonomy. She traveled. Took adventures. Experienced life on her own terms. Solo. Continue reading
Matilda Asher was crying in the break room. Rumor had it that she was quitting. Couldn’t hack it; nervous breakdown or something. A guilty thrill ran through me. I wasn’t proud of reveling in someone else’s misfortunes, but Matilda’s delicate sensibilities could mean big things for me. Opportunities like this were few and far between. Continue reading