There were no more surprises that day until the sky began to darken. She looked to the west. “Oh!” she gasped, as a face formed before her eyes. “Hello!” she called. “I guess the Universe is always saying hello,” she said as the clouds rearranged themselves and the light faded from the sky. “You just
“Looks like rain,” Emma’s Grandma Frances said, looking up. Emma squinted up at the vast blue sky, then at her grandmother. “Where?” she asked. “On its way.” Grandma Frances nodded. “Let’s you and I find a place to wait it out.” “A place to hide?” Emma asked, excited by the idea of a new game.
Be here. Away from the busy world, the trap of your thoughts, the ache of your heart, your disbelief. Within this simple time and place, this verdant space, anything can be unwound. Feel the earth. And let the breeze surround you in lavender-scented possibility. Come, sit in the center, in the womb, that is both
Silence… …sweet, blessed void… Refuge. Solace. And… …the only space… in which she can truly hear.
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
*** 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
She met the tattooed lady’s eyes, looked to the tattoo on the back of her hand, and back to her eyes. “I asked for help.” The tattooed lady held her gaze. “I made you up,” Jodi whispered. “You weren’t really at the fair.” “I was as real then as I am now,” she answered softly.
“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
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
Jodi watched the tattooed lady place a card on the table. As the first ornately illustrated card touched the tablecloth, a story—like a silent movie—began playing in her mind’s eye. The street fair. People. Everywhere. Stacy buying cotton candy. Mom leaving them by the snack cart. The second card went down. Mom. Walking quickly to