2016 Author Archives
Wormwood and Strawberries
By Susan Hroncek They said the old woman ate children, but I never believed it. Children disappeared; it’s just something that happened. Some wandered too close to the steel mills or the lake. Others were snatched from the park or on the way home from school. And some simply ran away. Anything to escape the taunting, the fists, the pollution that painted the sky orange and coated our world in coal-black dust.
Freedom’s Just Another Word
Jamie enters the glass-panelled Sanctuary, interspersed with shades of green; the door whisks closed behind her as she balances her matcha tea. She digs out keys for the simian rooms. Fleur watches as Jamie enters, but stays on her perch as the windows slide back. The chimp doesn’t take the offered apple.
The Witches on Floor Fifteen
by Brian Rowe
The little witch sucks on a lollipop, her lips and chin covered in a pumpkin shade of orange, as she peers inside the hospital room. A tall black hat covers her hair, and her brown silk dress has a large vampire cape that stretches down to her shoes. She holds a small bucket shaped like candy corn.I wave to her from the dark, gloomy corner; and she waves back. Her upbeat smile gives this room a needed […]
Army of You
I’m dispensing with formalities because it is my last day. Please, read all of what’s below. Some of it is old hat. But the truth is in the details. I want you to know the truth. To help stem the tide of what you unleashed. I’m reminded of my grandfather’s favourite saying, said every morning before he hunted for Soviet incursions with the Rangers, instant coffee in hand, not a wisp of steam. “Yesterday is ashes; […]
In that country, they don’t bury the dead. They pile the bodies on a criss-cross platform of logs and sticks out in the forest, so the flies can eat. The life drips off the bones until what remains is pure, pristine, perfect. Bleached ribcages scoured by the wind, seashell skulls washed by the rain.
Every seven years the People wrap the bones in fresh linen and parade them through the village. In this way the dead can watch […]
Happily Ever After
I can’t imagine how people can go on television and tell their stories to the whole blessed world. Like on Oprah, although she does seem like a nice person.
Today I watched a show called Abusive Husbands in the Military and The Wives Who Love Them. Couldn’t have been hard to find a couple of those. When it ended, I did something I should have done long ago: I took down the photo of Richard […]
Birds of Paradise
Mother calls out for my oldest sister, Miranda. Her voice bleats into the sterile silence like a lost child, startled from a nightmare. Death is a nightmare . . . for my mother. An extraordinary and unexpected event. “How terrible . . . how could this possibly happen!” she would exclaim, each time someone strayed from the fold of the living.
The living are in the fold outside of the hospital’s ICU right now. As they go about […]