How often is it said that life’s a dream
And we the leaf-light drifters in its wake
Who spin by winds on ripples made of “seems,”
The visions Heaven breathes for our soul’s sake:
A world caught in a water-drop we see
That shines for one brief moment like a star
Within this vale of mixed reality;
Ellie looked so stricken that Tommy was afraid to leave. Although they were ghosts, invisible, there was still agency in that spirit that it was best not to leave unguarded. Ellie’s eyes burned as she leaned over the bed where her husband-in-life lay. The room was stifled with sickness, but a cold breeze stirred and fluttered the pages of the open book on the desk.
“Ellie,” said Tommy, in a loud whisper. “What are you doing?”
Flight of the Birds (99 Words)
“Some say that cranes are the spirits of the dead,” said Allie. “When you see one, it could be the spirit of a loved one watching over you.”
Saving the World to Lose It (688 Words)
They said he asked for me often; that his prayers were full of my name, the mock self-portrait I had given crumpled at his heart. He wept often—it was his weakness, the illness. He cried for me, but it was the pain coupled with fever that directed the cry, and when he was aware he was silent and asked for no one.
News of my adventures affected him unpredictably. He expressed no gladness that I was still alive, nor enthusiasm at any chance of success. Sometimes he was calmed by talk of me and would listen quietly and attentively, as if he were a child and his nurse a storyteller. Then he was afforded a moment’s peace and stillness. Equally often he shed silent tears as he bade the speaker tell on, his countenance so stricken that it seemed he could not live on however promising the account.
When Winter Comes (133 Words)
When spring comes, it’s abrupt. One moment, the world is gray and biting wind, and the next the green starts to show and the birds are singing again. It’s such a curious and immediate change that it leaves me scratching my head. Where were all the birds in the winter? What were the leaves waiting for before they started showing?
Roses and Stone (193 Words)
It was all that he had left. All that he had left of a memory. For a moment he sat, turning the stone in his hands.
“This is ours, Ellan. Ours forever. Mrs. Coleman said she’d give me some cuttings from her rose and we’ll plant them out front. Can you imagine? Roses in our window, just like—”
The Patron (275 Words)
There was an artist who was known to paint one picture. Always it was the same, the same distant gray-green mountains and the dark, hilly plateau where the city had once stood. With only that one image to offer, people lost interest in the man’s art and his house would have fallen to ruin if it wasn’t for the attention of one customer.
She visited him every day to see how his new work was coming. Whenever he finished, she bought the piece, giving him a high price without waiting to hear what he asked for. No words were ever exchanged between them. That, like his art, was a ritual never forgotten, never changed. Who the woman was in her rich strange clothes, with her frightening piercing eyes, no one knew. They knew the artist, and knowing what he had lost and the disorder in his mind, they were afraid to ask him.