Category: short stories

Still Life with Motion

abstract of fire colors layered on ink blots

In photographs, the Earth is still a circle. It’s a geometry we keep relearning, just at new velocities. We’re always at the open end of the radius. Asymptotes. The way any two numbers have infinite numbers between them, two numbers even further apart have…

A Meeting of Minds

They sit around the table, ten women, their years stretched between fifty-five and eighty-three. They take a mug of tea and a shortbread biscuit between their stiff fingers and they wait a while.

A Story Festival

On a small patch of green beside the library in this close community on the hill, once a year we tell stories in a marquee while the sun blazes, the rain beats and the wind howls.

Between April and May

Coyote hunts the streets like a stray dog, her claws clicking along the asphalt. Among the urban diaspora, her lean shanks and rusty coat look primordial or alien. Her teeth flash among headlights like slashes of white paint on a dark canvas and her…

Bird’s Eye View

The people down there are walking on the concrete pavement, sitting on wooden benches, driving in their metal cars. The city is a constant loop of vehicles, smoke and smog, and noise. It goes around and around and I can see its shunted and criss-cross movement like the leaves on the tress see the ants below.

Where There’s Life

At the time they lived here, the average age of death for women was around 25, can you imagine that? 25!   She could see that was true. She only had to walk along the first row of graves, Sycamore seeds helicoptering to the…

The Task Eternal

frozen seed heads in snow drift

“The children need meat, Eli,” said Bess. They had circled the wagons on the east side of the mountain, so they could catch the sun first thing in the morning. The winter had been cruel this year. They had to bury three of their…

Learning from Snails

short story by Ute Carson My father was killed in World War II shortly before my birth. My mother remarried when I was four. An aunt stayed with me while the newlyweds went on their honeymoon. As soon as their coach departed I ran…

To Plant Strawberries

He sat behind the table on a Thursday afternoon, the door opening and closing every two minutes as shoppers came and went, came and went. He’d done this a hundred times now, or at least it felt like it and he knew the drill exactly. Most of the people who came in were heading straight for that pile of paperbacks stacked on the table near the desk. The new bestseller by E. Tanner. He’d get a few to his small table of neatly piled hardbacks, his latest offering of seasonal gardening, but the majority were led by their noses and would take whatever they were fed. Was he cynical? Oh god, he was cynical!

Blackberry Dreams

“Last night I dreamt about your girls. You were in the house and they came along the top road. They were so full of smiles and excitement at the idea they might see you again. They’d ridden their bikes all the way from their house and they stood and waited for just a mere glimpse of you.”

Blue John Cavern

Deep, deep below the ground among the hills. Up through the haunted Winnat’s Pass and down, follow the land like a spill of wine. The green meets the blue as the hills touch the sky and sheep roam wherever they like. Here is the mouth of a cave. Enter the stone and step down into the earth and feel the linger of Romans who discovered this opening 2000 years before.

Making Marks

The building feels like a warehouse, though I know it was once used as workshops for metal workers. The stairways hold the memories of the mesters who once crafted their material, each step I make as I ascend tinny with the clank of the metal frame and steps. I like to think we keep their spirits alive by carrying on the tradition of art in this space.