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
“Look, Janey, that tree’s yawning,” Emma said, pointing to a tree at the end of the block. “What tree? Where?” Emma ran up to the tree and pointed up. “Right here, see?” Her friend squinted her eyes at the tree and tilted her head. “It’s just a tree with a hole in it, and a
Strangers gather atop the bluff. Brought together to celebrate the light. Bound together by food, drink and laughter—they celebrated not just the light in the sky, but that in each other as well.
“Of course we need each other,” the little, crooked tree said, as its twisted branches began to mingle with its bigger neighbor. The bigger, well-formed tree thought about his companion’s bold statement. “I see now,” the bigger tree rustled with delight. “You are like an exclamation point at the end of my sentence. You add
Ayn really didn’t know how to make a meeting with Nev happen. She called Mearzt, but her friend wasn’t speaking to her. Ayn couldn’t really blame her. In a way, it was her fault Nev had gone missing. Still, she wished more than anything that her best friend were acting like one. She’d never felt
He pressed the icon for the vid to play. The sound wasn’t great, but Ayn couldn’t deny it was her voice. And that looked like her, talking to Nev. Ayn: Tell me how to help. Nev: All we need is an image. Ayn: Of my dad? Nev: Can you do it? Ayn: Of course. The
Ayn’s question was unanswered when the office door glided open. “Dad,” she said, yanking herself away from Lettie. “Will you please tell her to leave me alone?” She moved towards him, but his frown stopped her. “Why didn’t you tell me?” he said. His voice was flat, as flat as the look in his eyes.
It was obvious as soon as the Counsel began arriving that everyone was on edge about something. They stood in the living room, not even bothering to sit, drinking cocktails and eating finger food, their conversation a buzz of topics Ayn mostly didn’t understand until Professor Chirwnoff said, “That’s right, the mine’s been closed now
Her friend answered immediately. Ayn told her what had just happened and asked if she knew where Nev was. “I think he had to work after school today,” she said, sounding worried. “I’ll find out.” “Do it now,” Ayn whispered. “I will. Call you right back,” Mearzt said. There was a knock on the bathroom
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