(TW: implied sexual violence)
The gavel bangs twice and the finality of it echoes across the courtroom. Everyone present—lawyers, jury, observers, even the stenographer—sits silent, stunned into a kind of paralysis. Then the courtroom erupts into noise.Read More »
A blinding light fades and reshapes itself into blue sky and white clouds as you blink. The crowns of trees, cool and green, appear around the edges of your vision. It must be windy—the leaves shiver and dance—but you hear nothing. It is absolutely silent.Read More »
I place one foot in front of the other on the rail ahead of me. My balance is questionable, even when I’m feeling my best, but Kara’s fingers in mine make me feel like I could keep going forever.
The sun has gone behind the highest branches of the maples and oaks that line the railroad tracks and a slight breeze carries the sounds of town to us.Read More »
I lie still on the lumpy mattress that feels nothing like my own, keeping my eyes closed. I breathe in deeply and slowly, hoping to replicate the sound of myself sleeping. I could never trick my cat into thinking I was still asleep, but maybe the idiots holding me captive aren’t as perceptive.Read More »
Beep. Beep. Whirrrr.
Beep. Beep. Whirrrr.
The machines keeping her alive provide a lovely, calming background to my preparations. She radiates beauty, her pale skin and russet curls stunning under the crisp, white sheet. She reminds me of fall leaves and bone china.Read More »
I was fifteen years old when the judge finalized the adoption papers. We ate at my favorite burger place after the signing ceremony. I’d already finished my double cheeseburger and started in on my extra-large side of fries when Dad turned to me and said, “You’re officially part of the family now. It’s time you truly understood.”Read More »
The victors trudge off the battlefield, no less aching and injured than the opposition. Blood dries brown and sticky on armor. Swords and axes imbued with the power of the righteous during the fight, now sap the remaining energy from the arms that wield them. Heads bowed and faces somber, the soldiers who can still walk make their way through the field—once green and full of life, now strewn with muddy corpses—looking for survivors. Those wearing the colors of the king receive what rudimentary medical services available. Those wearing the colors of the traitor receive the sharp end of a sword.Read More »