The Proposal (part 2)

“But you promised,” Ayn said, casting her most pathetic look. “I know, and I will,” he said, “after I find out what Father Gheraeld needs.” “This homework is due tomorrow morning,” Ayn reminded him, setting her elbows on the table and resting her chin on her hands. Her dad slipped off the stool with an

Fallen Star (part 40)

As she crumpled the wrapper to put in her backpack, Jodi noticed something glinting overhead. A six-sided star swaying from a tree limb. Her star. Jodi stood to pluck the star from the branch. She thought about all that had just happened. About what she knew about their mom. About her secret. “I’m afraid,” she

Fallen Star (part 39)

Jodi was starving. She took out the almonds and protein bar, thinking about what had just happened. Maybe she’d fallen and bumped her head. But she didn’t really believe that was all of it. Jodi realized that she had been keeping secrets as much as their mom had. Only she’d been keeping the secret from

Fallen Star (part 38)

*** Rain beat Jodi’s face. She sputtered, rolling to her side and sitting slowly against a tree trunk. She straightened the glasses on her nose. “What… where…” She was off trail, in a stand of trees. Her bike lay on its side several feet away, along with her backpack. She got up stiffly to retrieve

Fallen Star (part 34)

“That wasn’t the first time she said that about me being too smart,” Jodi whispered. She kept her eyes on Seymour. He was a skinny old tom cat, all pointy bones and sharp angles. She could feel each vertebrae in stark relief along his orange and cream striped back. The tattooed lady lay down another

Fallen Star (part 33)

Her face was kind, and at the same time, Jodi knew that the tattooed lady across from her would see through any lies. There wasn’t room in this cozy little cottage for anything but the truth. The tattooed lady lay another card on the table. As before, pictures formed in Jodi’s mind. Fragments of memories

Fallen Star (part 25)

No one had told her and Stacy what had happened to their mother, other than she was dead. Their father and step-mother had kept media out of the house, no television or radios had been turned on without them being present, they’d stopped their subscription to the newspaper, and had enrolled Stacy and Jodi in

Fallen Star (part 23)

“Take the phone at least.” Her step-mother held out a pink-cased cell phone. Both she and Stacy had been given cells phones when they’d moved in, something their mother had never been able to afford. “Thanks,” Jodi mumbled. She stashed the phone in the back pouch of her bike jacket, along with extra protein bars