We come down the winding stone stairs in two groups of three, hands cupped to steady the splash and flicker of fragrant oil lamps. The deeper we go, the louder the rush and roll of the underground river flowing through the apothecary. Here is where the souls of the Mothers slow for the earthly; here is where appeals to heal scars from ill deeds are most likely granted.
Sheralynn stared out the train window at open prairie rolling by. The XYY Ranch was nestled in the shelter of the New Carpathian Mountains…or so the online website said. She snapped her laptop shut; her battery was low and the circle of dark mountains would gobble up her wifi bars. She leaned against a stack of carry-on luggage not hers (her kit bag was stuffed under her seat), and closed her eyes.
“Are we there yet?’
Valerie hunched her shoulders and pressed her forehead against the passenger-side window. She hated her younger brother–hated being trapped in the back seat with him on this faux family vacation. Continue reading “The Long Drive Home”
Once upon a time, summer sunrises warmed deep forest, from chill evergreen to clattering gold, edging our bedroom curtains with the nascent glow of unarticulated adventures. Ceaseless waves, having raked over agate and quartz all night, left hints in bits of driftwood and bobber, and precious white-scrubbed logs from distant islands and Superior storms. Continue reading “What Price Success?”
The firefighter pulled off his helmet, face streaked with sweat and dust from a raging fire, now controlled.
He’d single-handedly saved an even dozen citizens that night. He felt a tug on his pant leg and looked down into the wide eyes of a tiny tot.
“Thanks, Mister!” the child lisped. “Want a TMCoke and a smile?”
“Thanks, but I’d rather have some cool water.”
(No. Just…No. Highlight, then delete.)