On a warm spring evening, I trot along the invisible barrier between reality and dreams. A darkling fox with green glowing eyes sniffs the air, then whips right, away from me and deeper into the nightmare realm. Though I’ve cloaked myself in shadow, the creatures still sense my presence.
As I near a creek, the chorus of frogs grows silent. I dip my head for a drink and watch them balance upon the dancing reeds. Their tiny black eyes look but do not see.
With my belly sated with fluids, I whinny loudly, delighting in the splashes that follow.
Mine is a solitary existence. It has been this way for centuries and must remain so, so I make time to find joy in the little things.
The frogs resume their chorus long after I’m gone.
I don’t know why I come here every night to pace the border. If I were somehow to be seen by human eyes, my life would be forfeit. Not only would the humans try to dissect me, but my own kind would hunt me down and trample me to death me for exposing us.
But I am restless.
Tending the dreams of the living makes me feel dead inside. We were meant for more than this—though no one will tell me what it is we used to do. It must have been important for us to have so much magic. Though apparently, it was not so important we’d risk our extinction. But centuries of repressed instinct have done nothing to curb my need to find something… more. Continue reading →
I wonder what you will say here at my funeral considering you were the one who killed me. Lord knows you’ll be asked to speak. Will you say, “Here lies the girl who trusted me with everything, even her life. So much so that I decided to just take it because I thought she no longer deserved to live?” Or will you say, “Today we bury the one person who thought I was better than this, better than my past, but she was wrong. Now let’s put this bitch six feet under so I can go smoke?” Honestly, the options are endless. But I know you will get up there in front of that microphone, in front of my family and real friends, and even in front of God, and you will lie your ass off. You will say all the things expected of poor grieving you. You will lie, lie, lie. What a best friend you are. You’ll be sure to get a seat in the front row. Though you and no one else will be able to see me, I’m glad you’ll be there up front. I want to watch you grit your teeth through fake tears and clinch the sides of the podium because this is all just “too much” for you. You think you’ve gotten away with it all. Soon I will be buried and forgotten. You’re so wrapped up in the almost euphoric high of committing a crime and not getting caught that you’ve gotten cocky and complacent. But you have no idea. Your nights of sleep and peace are over. The past is about to come back to haunt you.
The car trip seemed unbearably long. Eva’s dad had just told her that he and her mom were getting a divorce. She wasn’t shocked. They had been fighting for years, but still she felt like a kid peeking into the ocean and realizing that life was so much bigger than she thought. Continue reading →
Franklin was 14 years old when the demon came. He—Franklin, not the demon—was long and spindly, in the midst of an awkward adolescence. The demon, by contrast, was tall and wide with a large neck, giant arms, and pale blue skin the color of the sky. He—the demon, not Franklin—appeared suddenly in the boy’s bedroom, standing bare footed on the carpet where there had been no one a moment before. Franklin looked silently at the demon, which looked silently back at him.