Elyse (502 Words)
“Dear heart, why do you hide yourself?”
He cradled her gloved hand in both his own, his sharp face earnest. The wrappings beside him stirred in sudden discomfort, and the hand he held strained momentarily to free itself.
“I don’t know,” said Elyse.
“Sweet one, tell me. Or better still, let me see and understand.”
His insistence coupled with his choice of words alerted her to the possibility that he was not quite so ignorant after all. The bundle jerked emphatically from him.
The Odd (139 Words)
“I face odds well enough,” she said, “when they’re easy.”
“Ah,” said he. “And am I easy?”
“Are you odd?”
They glared at each other. It was a humored glare, the irritation and resistance mixed with a joining humor.
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.”
Mama Bear (89 Words)
It was a long and arduous journey. The snowy hills stretched on forever. When the stars came out, the light sparkled like a thousand diamonds on the cold whiteness.
The House that Wouldn’t Let Go (193 Words)
They sincerely tried to escape the house. But when the wheel popped clean off of Grandpa’s carefully maintained car—a car that had outlived countless relatives and was taken care of with all the tenderness of a baby—they knew they weren’t going anywhere.
“Dad’s going to kill me,” said Mr. Hanes gloomily, examining the dislocated wheel.
Mrs. Hanes, in the driver’s seat, offered no comment. Their two kids, Amy and Mike, looked at each other uneasily.
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.
Carving Green (1061 Words)
“I know that I have wronged you.”
The prelude. The introduction. I have wronged you, he would say, and then—you have wronged me, too. We have both of us been like strangers to each other, when we are bound with a union that should have changed our sense to one.
That was the truth. It was a little late, for truth. If all was practical in love as it was in signing a lease or paying a bill, they would both confess, and understand, and be done with it. But it was Eddie who confessed. It was Eddie, who could not understand, and yet wanted that and needed it.
“I have been selfish,” he said, “I have not tried, even a little, to accept you. Perhaps a little. Not nearly enough. I see that; I know it. And I am sorry, Kate. I am so sorry.”