Sand dollar

On the right path

Agatha remained huddled beneath the rugs with Duncan, afraid to even breathe. Straining to hear whether the guard had companions, Agatha dared to lift a corner to look out into the open tent. Duncan stayed her hand, laying a finger against his lips. He scooted backward away from her, slowly uncovering his head. Looking around…

wrought iron fence

Host for hire

“We have some unfinished business,” he said. “You didn’t fulfill your part of the contract.” Keeping a demure distance between us, I sat beside him on the bench. “I want to renegotiate my terms.” He put his sunglasses back on, then slapped his thighs before standing up. I jumped at the smacking sound. It wasn’t…

city street

Street scene

The largest city I’ve lived in was Knoxville, TN. I was there, practically downtown, for three years while attending the University of Tennessee. I could literally walk anywhere I wanted to go. Saturdays were for sports. We made the Vol walk to Neyland Stadium on home game weekends with what seemed like the entire student…

grist mill

Grisly mill

A fine, dusting of yellow powder covered every surface of the grinding room. Two massive stones ground together, pulverizing hard, dried corn kernels. Meal, pressed between bed and runner, filled a hopper between 50-pound bags of grist waiting to be milled. Powered by an overshot flow of clear, cold mountain water, the heavy, wooden wheel…

red tree fungi

Trail of kisses

Leaving a trail of kisses from my strawberry stained lips, like bread crumbs through an enchanted forest, I scatter broken, and bruised, hearts in my wake. My sharp words are like brambles plucking at their sleeve. Not eager enough to hold tight, but honed to a razor’s edge, ripping and tearing at delicate egos. Scars…

typewriter

A writer of tales

I think I was born with a book in my hands. Once I met Dick, Jane and Spot, and learned how to control that magical superpower – reading – there was no stopping me. I flew dragons on Pern, rode sandworms across the vast deserts of Dune, and sailed the oceans aboard a pink sea…

pay phone

Wake up call

The ringing woke her from a deep sleep, but Millicent didn’t mind. “Tell me everything!” The caller, near panic, was hyperventilating. “I had to get out of there, I couldn’t breathe.” Millicent’s smile quickly turned to a scowl. “Man up, you big baby!” She yelled into her phone. “If you mess this up, I’ll shoot…