Friday, December 25, 2020

Let it Snow, Chapter I


        “But I called last week!” 

Carl is having none of it. I’m tempted to pull a Karen here — make my best impression of aunt Tilly, raise hell on the large man behind the counter for daring disrupting my nonexistent plans, but when I fill my lungs, ready to unleash my inner beast, I can’t bring myself to do it.

But I could bribe him.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Let it Snow, Chapter II



And here we go. I killed her dog. That’s why she hates me, even though it’s been decades and we’re both fully grown adults now. She just can’t let it go, in true Willow Decker style.

Of course I didn’t kill her fucking dog, I’m not a monster. But try to reason with Willow—it's impossible. I should know.

Here’s what happened.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Let it Snow, Chapter III


Fortunately, we're able to find a charming little inn where we can stay until the road is cleared, hopefully, in the morning.


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Let it Snow, Chapter IV



Willow is sound asleep by the time I wake up. By sound I mean soundly, snoring lightly and rhythmically. Part of me wants to record it so I can taunt her later, but I ultimately decide against it. Not because I don’t want to—it’s just self preservation at this point. I’ve been doing this for years enough to know better than to poke the bear. 

She’s bad enough as it is. 

Monday, December 21, 2020

Let it Snow, Chapter V


I don’t fall asleep, but I’m pretty sure I’m having a waking nightmare.

Nick seems to become desperate for my attention, popping jokes at every curve, like things are just working out for him. I’ve said this before, but here it goes again: my misery amuses him—no wonder he’s in such a great mood. 

With his shit eating grin, a winner in every sense, with a whole damn cabin all for himself. Imagine that. Even when Isaac and I were together, and I was still entitled to my own bedroom, we were still under the same roof as all (and I mean all) my relatives during the holidays. Which meant exceedingly early mornings, bathroom lines and very little privacy, after all, Cat wants to use the mirror! And whose child is that, playing hide and seek in my closet?!

I’m having war flashbacks here.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Let it Snow, Chapter VI


As I push up the ramp to the Cabin, I make the mental note to slip some money to one of the kids in the neighborhood so they keep the driveway snow free while I’m here. The thought makes me feel old — not so long ago, I was the one shoveling our elderly neighbors’ driveway for a few extra dollars. Now I’m pretty sure Mr. Maguire, the literal Vietnam war veteran from down the street, could do a better job than me.

“It is what it is,” I mutter to myself, giving one final boost into the even wooden porch. My shoulder snaps with the added effort and I dutifully ignore it.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Will You?

 Alice wakes up to breakfast. 

The sounds and smells of sizzling bangers and percolating coffee fill the small flat. She lies there for a moment, assessing whether or not the smells wafting in from the kitchen are going to make her puke before opening her eyes.

The morning light is soft. The sky is still pale blues and inky purples. It must be early. Figures. She always wakes up at an ungodly hour when she drinks too much. She tries sitting up, and is pleasantly surprised her head isn’t spinning. Gingerly, she swings her legs over the side of the bed and stands. Things are good until she bends down to retrieve her dress from last night.  

Thursday, July 30, 2020

A Set of Robes

 Theo wakes up to Alice. 

She’s facing him, one arm tucked underneath her pillow and the other hand under her cheek. Her eyes are closed and she’s still breathing rhythmically, deep in the throes of sleep. There are some flecks of dried black mascara dotting her cheeks and the pillow. Theo grins wryly. She’ll hate that when she wakes up.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

The Boy in the Garden — I



I was seven when I was taken to Misselthwaite. As the car neared the castle through the gravel path between the tall, dry from winter trees, I’d been impressed, overwhelmed by the sight that looked so much like the beautifully illustrated books mother would read me not so long before she died, in worlds of princesses and dragons, and I thought it was the most beautiful place I’d ever seen. A first impression, because then, after being dropped off with a single bag and a doll tightly pressed against my side, I thought it looked somehow cold, bare, with vines growing on the stone walls outside, uncared and untamed, just like I would be in the years I spent there.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Through the Door


    My hands are sweaty. I rub them on my navy dress pants and glance at the clock. 


    My heart starts beating faster, and it's so loud, I'm sure he'll hear it the moment he arrives. I bounce my knees up and down, trying to get the nerves and the jitters out of my system before he gets here. Three minutes later I hear the door alarm sound. Any second now he'll be walking through that door. 

    Well, not... walking, per se.