“Peek-a-boo!” As Emma’s peal of laughter filled the sun-dappled air, her parents, Tracy and Eric, turned from the picnic table towards the sound of their daughter’s voice. Tracy gasped. Their daughter stood before an ancient, sun-kissed tree, slowly covering and uncovering her eyes playing the age-old game with— “What is that?” Eric asked, his voice


When he was still young and green, he liked to say, “I’m separate from you.” Her reply never varied. “That’s how it should be.” Even so, he suspected there was something beneath her quiet, calm patience, a secret that belied her answer. He thought it might have to do with the echoes of her he

The Proposal (part 53)

“So, it’s true? You’re using Terrestrials to harvest minerals?” Ayn’s sense of unreality grew as she watched her dad’s face twist into a grimace. “Ayn,” he said, “that is so far beyond the point of this conversation between you and I right now. This is about survival.” “You’re scaring me,” she said. “You should be

The Proposal (part 43)

Her dad caught her arm as she passed him. “Apologize, Ayn,” he said, not letting go. His voice was quiet but firm. Ayn clenched her jaw and turned enough so she faced the iron-haired woman whose lips curled in the faintest of smiles. A burst of heat rushed through Ayn’s chest. She’d only experienced that

The Proposal (part 33)

Lettie turned to face Ayn and asked, “What was it they took?” “Photo images,” Ayn said, explaining about the missing images. Lettie raised an eyebrow—the gesture Ayn had come to hate. With that single action, Lettie managed to make Ayn feel like she was nothing more than a stupid child. “Very well. Did you hear

The Proposal (part 20)

“Tell me, are you as interested in plant biology as she was?” “Not really, sir, no,” Ayn said. “Genetics then, like your father?” Ayn shook her head, biting her lower lip. When was this interview or whatever it was going to end? “What are your interests then?” “Animals,” Ayn said, “but not in the same