There was an age of fire. It became so hot that it burned the first mother, even as she shielded her young from the inferno. [Read more…] about The Stone Mother
They told me my head would explode. I didn’t believe them. Until I heard the ticking.
Since I was a kid, I could think about several things at once. I could be doing math, figuring out how to talk to the girl in front of me, and simultaneously imagining living in ancient Egypt. Teachers would ask me, “where is your head at?” That was hard to explain, and not a little embarrassing. But I was a smart ass, so I’d just point. [Read more…] about 13 Simultaneous Thoughts
I look in on you at least a couple times a day. You maybe look more busy, more tired, more harried. Sometimes you look like you’re in love with someone else. Sometimes you look lonely too, even if you’ve got a harem of lovers in there. [Read more…] about Corpses of Love
I looked at you, looking at me. At first, I basked in it. You would adjust your hair. You would smile. You would turn your face a little and look at me sideways. You were nervous and would fiddle with your clothes.
I felt something I had never known. Longing. You filled me. You were all the light I needed. With you, I had a meaning in the world that I understood. I guess you could say I loved you. [Read more…] about The Sound of Breaking Glass
What if you could have *any* superpower. You’ve been asked that, right? You had a kid brother, or just one of those friends? What would it be? [Read more…] about Auctioning your Superpower
The man on the bench finished the edge of the last beak, touched up the shadow on a nape, and put down his pencil. The boy who was watching him slid closer and leaned in. The man tucked his pencil into a coat pocket. The coat had frayed cuffs. The hand had three fingers and one thumb. The boy nodded approval, and the man took a deep breath. [Read more…] about The Book of Worlds
When Susan was seven, they were only nubs. Her mother, Marge, took her to the pediatrician. He performed a biopsy. He sent her to a specialist. The specialist deemed the growth benign, though unusual, and recommended monitoring and periodic tests. Marge took her to more specialists. They did every kind of blood work and scan in their arsenal, and tried some new ones. Two projections of keratin and proteins that were not cutaneous was the first assessment. It was like saying to someone with flu symptoms, “your nose is running, and you seem to have a cough.” [Read more…] about Cleopatra, Scheherazade, & the Deerchild
“There are only two types of magic, Mr. Lauds. The magic of perception and the magic of dexterity.” The man who had spoken these words pulled on his pipe without moving his lips. He sat in a Queen Anne chair with feet flat on the floor in a coiled posture, as though he might launch like a spring. Yet he vaguely caressed a bronzed pocket watch, in a day when you didn’t see them much, as though he was two people, one also quite relaxed. It was not the type of watch you carried as an affectation – it was dented and darkly oxidized, and his hand did not turn it over and again, flipping the lid open and closed like a pocket lighter. His fingers moved on it gently, as though it were a pendulum of concentration extended from the pivot point of his otherwise still body. He had just finished lighting a pipe. That prop is not enough, then – he is a man who thinks about more than one thing at a time. [Read more…] about Ordinary Wizardry
“Read to Me” by Asher Black
“Read to Me” by Asher Black
I came across a blog post critiquing the common phrase “I’m spiritual not religious” which is indeed an annoying comment. I usually want to respond “that’s cute” but I don’t have time for the drama it would bring to my table. Even just refusing someone’s “spiritual” advances creates shock and disgust. Recently I declined to bring my baby boy, my dog, to be “blessed” by the local church of the coffee shop on animal day. “No thanks. I already have a religious tradition.” Jeez, you’d think I spit in their hymnals or ripped off their yarmalkas. [Read more…] about Religion, Love, Death, and Other Topics
Can you pull up Leviathan with hooks or tie his tongue with ropes?
Who dares open the doors of his mouth, ringed about with fearsome teeth?
Nothing on earth is his equal – a creature without fear… king over all the proud.
Morning broke over the fog that settled on the graveyard of ships, a grey crypt of ocean with no headstones, leaving no trace of the unlucky or the damned. It was a name no one spoke so close to its edge, and each man slurped his coffee with abandon, happy that night had an end, at least once more. [Read more…] about The Man Who Could Not Drown (part 2)
All three of them went at it, struggling without gaffs to hoist their haul across the gunwale and on board the Abysmal. They had caught a real, live man in the stormy seas off Sable Island. He was squirming like a man might when hauled from the brine, weak, half-drowned, but breathing, freezing, and displeased. Three mariners, their coats scuffed beyond hue, their hats laden with the salty wet, their beards crusted with weather and age, stood in awe of a thing that was no fish but could not have survived if he were an ordinary man. [Read more…] about The Man Who Could Not Drown (part 1)
Medusa had big hair – on purpose, of course. What would you do if a dozen of the nastiest snakes you ever saw were growing out of your head? You couldn’t just put on a wig. The only solution was do your hair up like that Married With Children lady – Peggy Bundy, and try to keep them quiet. [Read more…] about Medusa and the Mormons
Our garden grows ripe and strong, even if the soil is bare,
around the head of Mrs. Long, that Daddy had left lying there. [Read more…] about Talking Your Way into Dodge
Tommy knew there was a monster in the bathtub. You could have told Tommy that the bathtub didn’t *exist* more easily than getting him to give up his belief in the monster. The monster wasn’t just real, it was hungry, it was mean, and it wanted Tommy. Tommy was sure of it, more sure than a seven year old could be sure of anything. His parents tried cutting off television. They tried taking away his comic books. They tried a therapist. The therapist said his belief in monsters was natural and would pass. It didn’t. [Read more…] about What Doesn’t Eat You