What the sparrows did

Vol. 1, Story 1

You probably remember, when you were a child, asking your father how the light came into the light bulb. He would have been reading the newspaper, as fathers do, or watching the baseball game. You were looking at the lamp, and when he heard your question he emerged slowly from the deep waters of his own thoughts, like a whale coming up for breath.  

CLAUDIA & DIEGO

Vol. 1, Story 2

When Diego married his second wife, they were both certain that this was the end. For Diego, it was the end of his searching for new love. And for Claudia, it was the end of her hope that she would make it through life without a husband, that she would survive the wind and weather of her years like a lone tree on top of a craggy cliff.

Hector & The Mermaid

Vol. 1, Story 3

Hector didn’t know anybody in the big city. Well, that wasn’t exactly true: he knew his grouchy landlord. He knew the surly fry cook who lived across the hall and was always smoking on the shared balcony. He knew his coworkers at Apartment Gorgon: Dirtbag Joe and Brittany the Cheerleader and Rhonda Steelheart in HR. He just didn’t know anybody he liked.

On the long road

Vol. 1, Story 4

In Sylvia’s village, all roads leading away eventually led back again. You could leave, but the road would only hold you for a few hours before you ended up back in the village. Sylvia had been born there and had only walked the roads with her parents on Sundays and holidays. But next week she would turn ten, and for the first time, she would be old enough to walk the roads alone.

The Tranquility Shoppe

Vol. 1, Story 5

At the moment of Yuan Yuan’s birth, she was baptized into noise.  That day was the busiest on the maternity ward the hospital had ever seen. Mothers were screaming. Babies were screaming. Nurses and doctors were screaming, but only when nobody was watching. Everything was stirred up like a tide pool at high tide.

An Imaginary Thing

Vol. 1, Story 6

Vera was only seven when she heard the word for the first time and when, for the first time, she said it aloud. The two events happened back-to-back. Vera sat on a black rubber swing at the school playground, letting the heat of the afternoon bake into her skin.

Rain Bones

Vol. 1, Story 7

It was one of the dry years, the kind of year where the sun sucks even the dew out of the earth through a straw. The brush became brown and withered and snakes hid themselves under rocks. It was a bad year for the little farm on the side of the hill.

You Should be alive

Vol. 1, Story 8

Caroline flinched as the needle went into her arm. “You’re fine,” the nurse assured her. “Stop flinching.”

Caroline doubted that.

The time-taster

Vol. 1, Story 9

Scott and Erin are moving. Their boxes are arranged on the floor, dishes and silverware swaddled in bubble-wrap, clothes folded in laundry baskets.

Nothing is where it should be anymore.

One Good Storm

Vol. 1, Story 10

Etta stood on her porch with her hands in her pockets. Behind the house, clouds rumbled with their burden of rain. No amount of wind could blow the storm past them tonight. It simmered above her, waiting to boil and break.