Fear creeps up the aisle. An old lady asks, What are the biblical implications of this? Temperatures rise, glaciers melt, rivers flood, viruses leap from monkeys to humans, linger on the hand you use to wipe away a tear as your husband walks away. Despite the piles of pills you take, the half-caf, almond milk lattes, the small computer you carry in your pocket, you have not mastered nature. You flinch at the sound of a cough, fill your cart to the brim; the small voice in your head sings: Ashes, ashes. We all fall down.

Ellen Birkett Morris is the author of the collection of short stories, Lost Girls. Her fiction has appeared in Shenandoah, Antioch Review, Notre Dame Review, South Carolina Review, and Santa Fe Literary Review, among other journals. She is a winner of the Bevel Summers Prize for short fiction. Morris is a recipient of a 2013 Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council in support of her fiction. You can find her at:, and