Balance of Nature

Originally published in 50-Word Stories, December 14, 2022 When the doctor guided Josue into the world, his grandmother’s face crinkled in glee. “We’re fifteen now!” she squealed. The next month another doctor studied her tissue. When the pulley lowered her out of the world, bent faces crumpled in pain. “We’re fourteen now,” someone whispered while …

Here They Kill the Mustard by May

Originally published in Burningwood Literary Journal While her husband drove, Margaret kept her eyes closed, trying to identify each roll to the right, each jostle to the left along West Road. She had guessed the first curve was the bend around the Tudor house. The one being gutted behind a green privacy fence. “Privacy? Everyone …

Vacancy

Originally published in 101 Words. In the apartment, we only had a living room. Now the burbs have gifted us a family room, too. Another unnecessity, like the fireplace that will stand sterile in 70-degree winters. “Drywall over it. Then you’ll have another wall,” said the husband. “I don’t need another wall.” My words ricocheted …

Moving to Survive: The Morpho Butterflies of Panama

Featured in Intrepid Times Four hundred feet above the column of ships waiting to enter the canal, we crossed the Bridge of the Americas to begin our winter escape in earnest. As Jeff and I climbed through steep Caribbean pines, rolled past arching ferns, and dropped into the sea of airborne palms in Almirante, I …

All I Want Right Now is a Door with a Lock

Featured on Red Tricycle, August 26, 2020 Distance learning resumed two weeks ago, but I realized on day one what I will need to survive it: a door with a lock. Not an easy-twist knob lock. I want a padlock. A hardened steel padlock. Actually, the door behind which I write during the day has …

Of Everything The Pandemic Has Taken Away, I Miss Touch The Most

Featured on Scary Mommy, May 30, 2020 by Elizabeth Allison I idled in the driver’s seat when the masked man strode past my door and knocked on the trunk. I pushed the release button and watched him toss the plastic bag in, slam the trunk shut, and run off without a word. It was quick and dreamlike. Driving …