a heart-to-heart"Hey, Mom, guess what?" I called as I kicked the door shut.More Like This
"You forgot the eggs?" My mom took one of my shopping bags and started to unload it.
"No, I got the eggs. And you know, we should really be buying organic. Or from a family farm. Do you know what they do to chickens on--"
"What did you want to tell me, Lenny?"
"It's Sel, Mom." Eggs in the plastic bucket on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator. "And I met a boy today."
"A boy?" Parent mode switched on mid-step. "What kind of boy?"
"Not like a romance boy," I replied, slotting boxes of cereal into the cupboard. "I mean like a friend boy. Maybe. He's kind of jumpy."
"People are not your experiments, Sel."
"It's not an experiment. And before you ask, no, I don't feel sorry for him."
Mom chewed at her bottom lip and paused, plastic bag of apples dangling from one fist and plastic net of oranges from the other.
"Just remember that people don't always live up to your first impressions," she told me finally.
"I know." I packed the bag
The GlacierThey lived in the glacier since before the eldest among them could remember.More Like This
They loved their home, icy and unforgiving as it was, and they took great pains to preserve its majesty for future generations. But the humans came, and they brought with them their machines and their emissions and their destructive ways. Soon, the glacier was waning, and there was nothing they could do about it.
Or so they thought. A group of residents organized, and they promised an end to humanity's reign. They took in the residents' young ones, and they began to build. Some called them bloodthirsty for wishing an end to humanity, but others saw the beauty in their design. Life would find a way, they said, and that life was them. Humanity's reign was over. It was high time to take back the planet.
They had machines, too. Well, plans for machines. The building of them would take a lot of money that they didn't yet have, but as the movement grew, the funds trickled in. Then they came in waves. The movement wa
jigsaw"I don't see how you think you'll get out of this one."More Like This
"Of course you don't."
The man twirled his battered hat in his hands, movements in time with the growl of the engine and the crackle of tires against pavement. His right wrist jostled the handcuffs tethering him to the tired woman next to him, and he took great pleasure in the crease that formed in her forehead when he got the chain between their wrists swinging like a jump rope. The woman's lips pursed around her cigarette.
The only sound now was the car and the clinking of the chain. The cab driver had long since abandoned conversation, but in their doomed small talk he had managed to announce that so long as the window was cracked a bit, he didn't mind them smoking. Wincing, the woman took a drag on her cigarette and exhaled toward the gap between glass and upholstery as though she could somehow expel her irritation in the smoke.
"Have you told them we were coming?" the man asked, hat still and gaze on the ashy sky.
perfect crimeShe was always the weepy one. Didn't matter what amazing things were happening around her; she'd be sitting in the corner with her glassy eyes and her infernal sniffling. Metaphorically, of course.More Like This
It's easier than you'd think to stage a suicide.
Especially when they were planning on doing it anyway.
The Eyes of ChildrenShe sees in black and white and the doctors don't know what's wrong with her.More Like This
"I'm sorry," I sigh when she's seven years old and the doctors say there's nothing they can do.
"Don't be," she laughs, paintbrush in hand. "Everything is beautiful."
On the canvas, her lilac people smile.
The Wicked"Come here."More Like This
She beckons to him from a shadowed booth in the club, one spidery hand pulling back the curtains just enough to expose one shoulder and a hint of breast. Her skin is mottled green and blue by the strobing lights, and of her face, only her smile shows. She does not smile with her teeth, though the detail is lost on him.
He has been drinking, and heavily, since the club opened at nine. They had stopped serving him a few minutes earlier, despite the threats and currency he threw at the bartender. He stares now at the light-painted arm before him, traces its curve to the bare shoulder, and hobbles over.
She has a drink ready for him, of course. Straight vodka and ice. She nudges it toward him, face and throat still hidden in shadow. He is pleased to note that the only thing covering her chest is a band of black leather, presumably belted at her back. Easy access, he thinks, and he does not doubt that her hidden lower half is comparably garbed.
It does not occur to him when he