Angels

The air smells like antiseptic in the hospital tents. Men lie in rows along the canvas walls and listen to the war waging outside, barely a mile away. So close. So very close that sometimes the gunfire and thunder of the bombs shake the walls. I don’t have enough bandages for them all. Their shirts…

Garden Faeries

I leave a handful of seeds outside my garden gate when I plant in the spring. The faeries don’t like it if I forget them. They like to plant their own little gardens, sometimes beneath my flowerpots, sometimes under the porch in the front yard where the light is dim and the mice leave their…

Spices

We open the stall before dawn turns the eastern sky pink. Grandfather pushes the metal door up until it disappears, and I sweep the floor and tidy the booths. The spices have spilled in the night, only a little, a dusting of red here, yellow there. I sweep them into the street and watch the…

Smuggler’s Camp

The trucks come rumbling into our camp, dust rising in their wake. The beds are full of boxes and men with guns on their backs, and I run to meet them, praying to whatever god might listen that Fetch is with them. I’m always worried he won’t come back. He almost didn’t once. They dragged…

Gypsy

The fires bring them. Light blossoms into the sky, brighter than the stars, red as the flowers that grow along the roadside, and the people gather towards its flames as if we’d spent our throats and our lungs calling for them. We’re dancing already when arrive. My skirts billow around my bare legs, and I…

Winter Nights

The wind is howling. I can hear it outside the hut, whistling among the rocks. Blowing snow. It’s the first real storm of the winter, and night has come to the lands surrounding us. The sun won’t rise again for six months. We’ll be waiting, when it does. The firelight throws shadows onto the hide…

Ivy

Don’t step on the leaves. I repeat it to myself over and over again. Don’t step on the leaves. Don’t step on the leaves. The forest floor is bare, as bare as if fire has swept through in the last few days. The ground is dark, black as coal, and ivy clings to the trees….