Pebbles and Regrets

Jenna makes her way to the far lake’s shore, lonely and rocky. Scout scampers ahead, splashing into the water, pure joy. He shakes and sniffs and finds a spot in the sun. Jenna begins stacking rocks—two, three, six, ten, more. She keeps building, and by late afternoon fifty stone towers surround her, ready to protect … More Pebbles and Regrets

High School Romance

She was the pretty English teacher, unhappily married. He, the dashing band director, suspiciously single. The boy was painfully shy, easily overlooked, and dreadfully poor. During classes, English and Music penned lascivious love letters to one another, his addressed to Emily Dickens. He was her Elvis. During the boy’s senior year, the lovers presented him … More High School Romance

Bad Choices

Outside Dimple’s bedroom, the wind strengthened, beginning to howl. Leathery leaves of the magnolia scratched against her window screen, like a pet pleading to be let in from the weather. But Dimple had no pet to love, neither cat nor dog. All she had was a man in the pen. Jonathan Odell is the author … More Bad Choices

Calling It Curtains

A breeze lifted the curtains hanging by Dimple’s bed. They were adorned with pink poodles wearing black berets, smoking what her mother supposed were tiny French cigarettes. Dimple, only eight at the time, threw a fit at Woolworth. Swore she would die if she didn’t get them. “They ain’t for children, Dimple,” her mother tried … More Calling It Curtains

When You Left I Lost You

“There’s something in the barn, Walter!” He, a proud farmer, limped into the kitchen. His wife, Margaret, sat at the table. Her tears stained a portrait of a boy. “You don’t think…” her voice ached with hope. “No. It’s probably a damned wolf — broke away from the pack, looking for food.” Walter grumbled and … More When You Left I Lost You

The Witch of the Wood

‘Twas Father McDormand who first accused me of dancing naked with the devil in the wood. And did you, my love, my heart, my betrothed, dissent? Nay, you did not. Now golden flames lick my boots and black smoke billows into a bruised sky. You listen, as my screams pierce your ear, and you watch … More The Witch of the Wood

Freedom Monument

Our Leader’s Freedom Monument is a 132m obelisk; it channels the sun’s rays and melts statues of our enemies. Today’s tourist group gasps as firecrackers boom, the statues twist and contort as they are punished. A female tourist approaches the perimeter fence where she pushes her fingers through the mesh. “What’s it like living here?” … More Freedom Monument

The Eyes Have It

Squeezing an avocado, our neighbor Meredith comments, “You have your father’s eyes.” My eyes dart to the potatoes, scanning for sprouting buds — potential witnesses. “You think?” “Sorry to hear he disappeared on you and your mom.” I nod, shifting my basket’s weight. My smile remains while I pay, my heartbeat calms on the drive … More The Eyes Have It

Between the Lines

He’s on top of me. I stare sideways at the throw pillow my mother gave me. It is plaid, mostly black and white, with some gray undertones. This was so much more fun when it was just tickles and giggles. His whiskey-breath quickens and soon he will be done. The tassels on the pillow are … More Between the Lines

When Green Turns Red

Envy prickles the back of my neck where little hairs used to be before I shaved my head. I watch Jill copy me as her hair falls to the floor. She’d agreed to shave her head with me for the breast cancer fundraiser. “Anna,” she smiles, “you like it?” I nod, and silently blush. Jill … More When Green Turns Red