It wasn’t usual anymore, the burying of bodies, but I had insisted. “I want to bring him home. I want to bury him next to his grandfather.”
And so, even though we live in an age when the dead are cremated and the ashes mixed into the gardens, or, if you had the resources, consigned to the heart of a star, we put the body of our stillborn son in stasis and carted him half way across the quadrant for an old-fashioned funeral.
Flash-fiction. Ravens and Crows aren’t quite the same bird.
“I’ve grounded and centered and counted to ten – to fifty, even. I’ve done the incantation. I’ve drunk the calming tea, and no matter what I do, I cannot banish the thoughts of Unkindness for longer than a couple of minutes.”
“Unkindness? Unkindness?” The women tilted her head one way then another, peering at him from one bright eye at a time. “But, you’re not a Raven. You’re a Crow.”
Flash-fic, read by Selena Taylor. Life finds a way.
She scooped the transparent fish out of the water, expecting it to gasp in desperation, but it seemed completely tranquil, suspended between her hands as content as it had seemed in the tide pool where she’d found it.
Mandy stopped using pencils when she was six, except for math. She moved beyond wide-ruled paper when she was seven, and they sent her to Special Education to learn cursive because the Advanced Reading workbook had bits of cursive in it. She likes writing in cursive, but some things have to be printed.
These doors don’t have the kind of locks that rattle, but if we’re sitting in the living room, just reading by the fire or maybe watching television (I admit, we watch far too much television) we sometimes feel a faint breeze, as if the seal between the two doors has been tested and found to be slightly lacking.
Once I’d managed to walk between raindrops, I decided it was time to dive into puddles. That took a bit longer to master. I mean, flying may be as simple as – how did Douglas Adams put it? – throwing yourself at the ground and missing, but puddle diving requires a bit more… nuance.
When there’s an itch that really needs to be scratched.
She’d roast him first, of course. Dragon fire killed the pain and added a crispy outer shell that was just so… She was distracted from her search for the perfect word by another infernal itch. This time it was right above her left ear-slit.
When the crowds were thin, though, and the children screamed with fear instead of laughing at their antics, the blue teardrops appeared at the corners of their eyes, their faces were updated in the Registry, and they disappeared. Some said they were going back to college; others found jobs as buskers making balloon animals in zoos and amusement parks, but every single one left Clown Alley, left the life.
Jack hadn’t come up from clown college either, but he was no kid. At sixty, he probably ought to be thinking about retirement, but he’d been born and raised in the circus. He was the last in a line of clowns that dated back to the first American circus.
He was a headliner among clowns; his name – Jacko – was on all the posters.