The Proposal (part 46)

“Nev is full of hot air, that’s all,” Ayn continued. “I mean, did you see the vid? It was laughable.” “Ayn—” “I’ll bet she—” “Ayn.” The hard edge in her dad’s voice silenced her. “Nev is not as innocent as you think.” “He didn’t take those photo images,” Ayn said. “I don’t know about that,”

The Proposal (part 3)

She’d been called “sweet pea” a lot in the past months, ever since he’d been called to serve in Father Gheraeld’s administration as Chief Science Counsel and they’d had to leave their old life behind. “Lettie can help you finish,” he said as he moved toward the door. “She’s good with calculus.” “Of course she

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 36)

“When is daddy coming back?” Stacy cried. “He isn’t.,” Jodi said. Her matter of fact tone of voice gave away none of the turmoil she was feeling inside. It was as if the ground were being taken out from under her feet. “Is he?” She turned to their mom. There was a distant, pained expression

Fallen Star (part 35)

Their father left just after bedtime on a Sunday night. He had tucked them into the bed she and Stacy shared. Kissed their foreheads, saying “I love you,” to each of them as he stroked the bangs from their foreheads. Jodi knew something was wrong. She crept out of bed and followed him to the

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