When I untied my heartstrings,
Better Judgement snarled. “Why?”
I answered: “Because it needed to soar.”
“Blue skins aren’t allowed on Station 3,” the terminal conductor repeated with some annoyance.
Her father waved a holo display in the conductor’s face. “Would you look at the papers. She’s a legal citizen and has the same rights as—”
“I don’t care what it is. Letting that thing on the transport will only cause problems with the other passengers.” The conductor slammed the transports’ doors and fired up the engines, leaving the two of them alone on the space bridge dock.
“Your species is filled with assholes,” Jamie finally said, interrupting the silence.
Her father chuckled. “Yeah, maybe.”
Ideas are like the wind
Brushing our arms,
But hiding from sight
Pounding on frosted glass,
Demanding to be noticed,
Though their forms are blurred
Screaming until their voices
Feel like gravel in their throats,
But having no sound at all
Yet, this is the writer’s great struggle:
To bring to life what isn’t clear
A martian usher escorted the woman away from the rest of us enslaved musicians. As she stepped onto the levitating stage, the alien audience let out a deafening cheer that rumbled the ship.
“She’ll be the one that wins her freedom,” Mikhail, my accompanying pianist, said as the ship began to quiet.
I nodded. Why wouldn’t she win? She was Alyssa Garner! A gifted violinist coveted by conductors back on Earth.
Alyssa’s bow hung in the air. Once it was silent, she struck the strings and played a strong chord. She progressed through her piece. Her delicate fingers gliding across the violin’s neck with practiced precision.
A true master.
But her enchantment on me shattered when she yelped. The stage split and sucked her into space. A raucous noise, that I can only describe as laughter, erupted from the audience.
Your words are
More valuable to me
Than precious gems
Than life-giving air
Imagine, if you will,
What would happen
If you used them
To destroy me
We’re all waiting to die.
I learned that truth at a young age and hoped Death would save me from the minutiae of life. When he didn’t—if Death was indeed a he—I got desperate and figured I’d force his arrival. I remember sitting in my room holding my father’s gun to my head, the cold barrel digging into my temple. A twisted smile plastered on my face. I felt as if I was a lover waiting for my date to arrive, but the bastard stood me up.
In winters like this—where the wind was a silent enemy that blistered everything it touched—his tribe would hunker in the belly of the White Mountain. Families drawn close and circling small fires never expecting to lose each other.
At least that’s how he felt before the exile.
This dangerous train of thought faded as his silent enemy shook his makeshift home made from branches and thickets. His body, numbed from the cold, protected a waning fire.
A Lost Soul, darkened by troubles,
Handed an Angel a set of worn cards
With ragged, trembling hands.
The Lost Soul tried to speak
But years of torment–
No doubt by the cards–
Made speech difficult.
Filled with pity, the Angel
Leaned down and said:
“Speak. I will listen.”
“Gracious One,” the Soul whispered.
“If it’s not too much trouble,
Can you put these back
And deal me new ones?”
Photo by Amisha Nakhwa