Tag Archives: short story

109.

In the beginning, before she understood what it wanted, it felt as if light followed her. It bent around her, nearly imperceptible, but it made the wrong shadows. It felt like a sentient thing, tracking her.

One summer day, she sat in full sun, stretching her limbs like a cat. As she flexed her fingers, luxuriating in the tingle of muscle over bone, she saw the light bent with her fingers. Where she moved, it moved, and she was pulling it in towards her in strands. Thick ribbons of pale sunlight that curved in and popped away again as her fingers bent.

She found that by manipulating her fingers, she could weave the strands of light together; the thicker the cord, the stronger it pulled at her. The tug was gentle, but insistent. As she wove, her fingers taut with ropes of light, her hands and wrists seemed to be pulled into an elsewhere.

The girl became uneasy. She understood that she could keep going, but where would she go? She held her fingers still, thinking. 

She was wary, but excited. She could do this thing. This thing that no one else could do, that no one else seemed to see her doing. Pulling at the rope of light a little, experimenting, she saw that she could see through her hands and forearms. “How will I make this big enough to hold all of me?” she wondered.

100.

My 365 sentences project is a shared venture with @scrufflibrarian. For every day that I write something, he draws something and posts it on Instagram. Early on, we agreed that we’d swap a couple of days here and there, and today is our first. I drew something, and Phil wrote this beautiful piece.


The masks didn’t bother the kids, they’d never known any different. A whole generation. But they bothered us, and a lot of others who could remember before. The seals would get wet, or a speck of dust or grit would get lodged in there, and before you knew it your neck would be red raw. You weren’t supposed to loosen them, of course, for any reason at all, but sometimes it just felt too good not to break the rules; to slide your finger under the seal and rub the skin there while the warning tone beeped, steady as a metronome. 

But worst of all? Imagine never being able to truly look someone in the eye. The slight curve of the glass always distorted things. That bothered me like nothing else. 

That night, we lay side-by-side, and we each pulled the catch at the top of our spines until it clicked free. Together, we lifted our masks clear of our heads, and we finally got to really look at each other. We’d promised ourselves we would be quick, but we got lost in the looking, and the chirping of the alarms didn’t seem quite so important any more.