“In a war zone, it is not safe to be unknown. Unknown travelers are shot on sight,” says Isabel Fall. “The fact that Isabel Fall was an unknown led to her death.”
She always found her way to the fringe, hoping and dreading someone would notice her. In school it had been the back row in class, where she would slouch in the desk, feet almost touching the one in front of her, only participating enough so the teacher wouldn’t single her out. Walking the halls close to the walls to avoid touching or being touched, the sounds, scents, and motion swirling around her like a dark presence.
The night was soft and sultry, filling her room with scents of lavender and jasmine. A soft breeze flowed over her bare skin. Who thought blackouts could be peaceful?
Kanna wondered, as she often did, about the secrets hidden behind the chocolate eyes of the girl in the corner booth. Each day she sat, school books set neatly upon the formica table top, papers or a notebook set just so as she worked.
Her order was made according to the weather, iced tea for warm days, hot coca for cold. Only once had Kenna been surprised when asked for hot tea with lemon, (but the girls rough edged voice and red, raw nose explained the request).
Such things were not what had caught her curiosity, though. It was the time after, when the papers and books had been put away and the girl would sit, sometimes for hours, looking out the window.
To Kanna, it did not seem as though she looked at the scene just beyond the glass but to some thing or some where, only she could see.
The results were a given of course, the best of the best leading the rest and the best she was not. One had to actually care about such things if they hoped to hear their names whispered with awe and jealousy in the halls between classes and Shellie just couldn’t summon that level narcissism.
In fact she often had to remind teachers and classmates it was fortunate she showed up at all.
Not to say she was a failure, she was passing all of her courses, even if some were by the preverbal whisker. Still, it was enough to keep her parents happy and since they payed the bills that was all that mattered.
Creativity was her true passion. It didn’t matter what it was, drawing, writing, or sewing her own clothes. She thought to be a singer once, (until the neighbors threatened to jab their own eardrums out with something really, really dull at which point her mother kindly suggested trying something a tad quieter. She then tried to learn to play the trumpet but it was accidentally crushed beneath the wheels of her father’s car when he ran over it… several times.)
She dreams of opening a showing at some promenade gallery in the city…
Now, if she can find a way to work all the crying and pleas for mercy into an interactive display…
By Kira A. Moore
She stood at the window, light highlighting the tips of her hair, her body draped in the shadow she cast across my bed where I waited in pensive silence. Looking at her I felt a chill creep across my skin, raising goosebumps and I suspected I would never be completely warm again.
Her voice floated across the room, soft as down, brittle and knife sharp,
“Secrets are demons you know. Your hopes. Your dreams. Your trust. They destroy everything.”
She didn’t turn but I felt her eyes burning into mine. “Then they devour your soul.”
Trees rise upward, emerald layered upon layer seeking the sun. Below dappled shadow cover the ground, miss-placed dreams of night’s embrace. Behind, the world glows yellow gold and the scents of warm earth mix with the musty promise of decay. Ahead, the path continues, mulch and moss mixed with promises of discovery.
A turn, so slight, yet meaningful. The sound of running water fills the air with crystal laughter. Here a bridge, wood and steel, rises over the creek which, in minds and dreams, separate promise from reality. Within the clear waters fish dart and play, dark and mysterious.
All but one.
A flash of gold, so bright it takes your breath away.
She looked across the table where an empty wineglass waited, upside down, on pristine cloth. The chair beyond unmoved.
She looked at the glass scattering across the floor. The shimmering tones of silicone on terra-cotta. A frown creased her brow as pieces skittered and spun, flinging off sharp sparks of light. This wasn’t the first nor the last, but damn, she hated to be reminded of such things.
Turning she glanced at the hand hanging insolently over the arm of the chair, unaware or uncaring of what happened on the chipped and cracked floor below. She wanted to feel anger, the heat of blood rising to her cheeks as it did so long ago, instead she sighed and careful made her way to the broom closet, being sure not to disturb the figure slumped in his chair. The shards glittered like lost diamonds again the black dust pan, somehow enhanced by the thin coat of dust which swirled between the jagged pieces. Taking a deep breath, she slowly stood, careful not to tip her hand and release the wreckage once again.
She emptied the pan, wiped it clean and returned it to it’s place along with the broom. She let her eyes close for a moment before closing the door and turning to place a thin, blue veined hand upon his shoulder, feeling his bone thin frame through his house coat.
Looking down at his face, relaxed now but still handsomely rugged to her fading sight, she spoke softly.
“Take him,” she told the figure waiting in the doorway.
Her name was Willow, named for the tree she was found under on a warm Summer evening. No one knew how she came to be there or who her family were. It was almost as if she were a creature of magic conjured into the world.
In the beginning she had blonde hair and blue eyes, then as she grew they became grey, her hair the color of winter skies and eyes of untamed thunderstorms. Her mood too was melancholy, her voice little more than a whisper, forgotten as soon as heard.
All who met her felt ill at ease, as though they were in the presence of something which shouldn’t exist, something not of this world. A feeling which was only strengthened by the rumors and whispers, of things done which should not be done.
It is said when she was four, she found a dead bird in the yard. She scooped it up, kissed it gently and let it go. Those who saw expected the lifeless thing to fall to the ground only to be shocked when it instead flew away as though nothing had happened.
When she was twelve she did the same to a dog which had been hit by a passing car. It was a mangy looking thing, all knotted fur and milky eyes and it allowed her everywhere she went. Waiting outside of her window each morning and at the school gate everyday after classes. The kids nicknamed it “Ed”, short for “Dead.” Yet she called it nothing anyone ever heard and still it stayed with her loyally.
None of these things though, would mark her forever in people hearts as what happened the Summer she turned eighteen…
She spent day after day sitting beside the road in front of her home. Regardless of the weather she was there from dawn until dusk, often not seeming to move, to neither eat or drink. When asked what she was doing, she would simply reply.”Waiting.”
Then the day came when a small white kitten was seen pacing on the other side. It would begin to cross only to run back to safety when a car approached. The pattern was repeated day after day. Soon people began to linger in the area waiting to see what would happen. Some even taking bets as to weather the cat would make it across or not. They speculated on how far it reach, what the make, model, and even color of the vehicle. It became a morbid affair indeed.
At last she stood up, stretched, and carelessly wondered across the asphalt, seemingly slipping between the speeding cars, careless of the blaring horns and screeching tires, until at last she stood over the kitten who looked up at her…
“It took you long enough.”