Page 3

  1. Mitiscent


    A weed grows out from the shadows where a the venting of decay lurks.

    Morning comes later now,” she said, the toes of her bare feet sensing the reassuring firmness of the floor as she lifted herself from bed. The darkness of the room felt richly dense as she moved through it towards the window, the amber light of the streetlamp below spilling in as she opened the curtain, revealing the world’s ignorance of her.

    A difference had come to her during the night, though she had been unaware of its arrival when it came. The change felt soft, like the removal of some uncomfortable garment, though she could not help but doubt its intention. “I have been deceived by you before,” she said to the softness; “you are not, by necessity, a friend—neither are you sufficient as one.”

    The clock ticked angrily from its home on the wall behind her and her heart paced itself accordingly. She had been unable to move herself from the window and a shadow stretched from her sharply as the sun rose to expose her self to its plot. This difference felt deliberate, an adjustment of yesterday’s conclusion to demand newness from this day as it approached.

    Whatever shall I do?” she asked her shadow, it stretching even further from her as if oddly repulsed. “Must I accept this change as a benefit, pure and simple, and go along with its suggestion? It feels wrong, somehow, though perhaps that is little more than my innocence recoiling, my experience of life toying with me devilishly. Has it not been my plan to make rearrangements, to do things differently, just as this difference is asking of me now?”

    She became unglued and thusly moved, herself having split in two as she stepped from the window into the rooms of her day. The floor felt evermore reassuring beneath her, as if it were the sole thing to be trusted, and she became overwhelmed by her gratitude for its presence. Perhaps there was a possibility within this difference, just as its softness suggested. Perhaps the warmth of its embrace could be perceived as genuine rather than somehow deceitful—as she had led herself to believe. She became one again as she bled into herself, a faint smile spreading across her face.

    Her shadow blurred into the wall behind her, it no longer requiring definition. Her perception moved from within to without and the world turned to recognize her, as if it knew her all along. “Perhaps I am not as terrible as I believe myself to be; perhaps I should treat myself with the selfsame tenderness that this difference has offered me. Could it be that I might exist outside of my own being, that I am somehow worthy of breathing?”

    The day nodded as it consumed her shadow entirely, for there was no longer a wall to hold it. The clock quieted itself, then slowed, and moments became manageable as she inhaled and greeted her self as if for the first time, her feet finding soil beneath her, her heart to hold as her own—herself comforted at last.

  2. Revealing


    Beatrix Potter’s secret, coded journal took an admirer thirteen years to translate.

    As codes go, Potter’s wasn’t inordinately complicated. As Wiltshire explains, it was a “mono-alphabetic substitution cipher code,” in which each letter of the alphabet was replaced by a symbol—the kind of thing they teach you in Cub Scouts. The real trouble was Potter’s own fluency with it. She quickly learned to write the code so fast that each sheet looked, even to Linder’s trained eye, like a maze of scribbles.

  3. Hypenemious


    A cacophony of leaves and branches as all grows in the shadows.

    As if already sensing time’s inevitable descent into winter, a diminutive butterfly flitted nervously amongst the remaining flowers blooming at the water’s edge. The pale yellow wings would momentarily turn to a brilliant white whenever the sun discovered a sliver in the expanse of gray which had been cast over the day. The butterfly moved from flower to flower haphazardly, unable or unwilling to select a perch as it found itself tossed toylike by the afternoon wind.

    Her forefingers traced circles into her temples—if only I could bore holes into here; she thought, from behind closed eyes.

    The colorless flowers languished tiredly along the bank. Drooping slightly from bowed stems, the long months of long days spent reaching towards the sky with yearning blossoms had brought them to an exhaustion. An end to it felt nearby, as the brisk wind provided the flowers hope for a finality, the crisp promise of demise.

    It having chosen a friend or conceding its fate, the butterfly alighted upon a suitable bloom. It remained there, exercising its wings slowly, opening and closing them as if each movement spurred pain, until all became still at last.

    Her forefingers slid onto her face to meet their siblings as she began to slowly grind the palms of her hands into the sockets of her eyes—if only I could drive them out of here; she thought, from where her thoughts steadfastly remained. Forever bedeviling, forever churning, her ruminations forever refusing to lighten just enough to be caught and sent aloft by this imperviously disinterested wind.

  4. A Chancing


    Flowers bell as if grasping at nothingness; trees stand near, aghast.

    The book had come to her by way of an abstraction, presented deliberately yet with the gifting hand unseen. The manuscript had been found upon a park bench which she frequented regularly, a seemingly discarded thing, yet with a delicately designed ex libris bearing her name.

    She opened the book gingerly, fearing it densely difficult, though at once she found comfort in it. She became lost within its pages as it filled her head with novelty, ideas which heretofore had remained beyond her grasp, disparate understandings now correctly connected and complete.

    However, she found simple errors within the book, obvious oversights made without malice—misplaced or misused marks here and there. From somewhere beyond herself, she felt an urging to make note and then right said wrongs—to rectify and replace—and so she blinked differences into existence, believing this course to be kind.

    Just as soon as she had made her emends and rightly repaired all flaws, the pages became obscured by bleed, like window panes glazed in soot. The characters of the book had become smudged and unintelligible, swamped and smeared, themselves now lost within the faintness of a gray opaqueness from which no meaning could be discerned.

    She blanched and froze, her eyes wide with dismay above a mouth agape, horrified by what had happened. It had been her lone intention to assist in bringing to perfection that which had been offered, for had she not been instructed to do so, had not another prompted her towards an editor’s position with pointedness and precision?

    She closed the book and returned it to where it had been found, beside her on the bench, her heart now heavy with sorrow and regret. Though within her remained the fanciful notions which had been granted her, that knowledge bestowed before the tragic disappearance of its conveyance, her cheeks now reddened with shame.

    She looked out over the lake as voluminous clouds lazily made their way across the sky, trees reaching to greet them as their leaves readied themselves for a conclusion, the rippled water of the lake twinkling as it lapped at the rocky shore. She abhorred herself absolutely for having tried, yet another lesson learned, the day draining out of her and into the soil at her feet.

    A lone florescence reaches out, asking.