Latest Short stories
Shadows draped over the furniture in the small Lifewarden cottage. Death hung over Madiya’s mind like that darkness, clouding all her thoughts. Except the one that chided her for sleeping through her last chance to enjoy the beams of dawn penetrating the curtains and casting beautiful patterns on the floor. But she needed no such distractions today. As she rose from her cot, a vision crashed into her.
“John’s dead, Maggie.” Ann stood in the doorway, her voice hollow and her cheeks streaked. In the two years that she’d been my roommate, I’d never seen her cry.
Dec. 24. Victim discovered 3 min. off San Pasqual Valley Road/Highway 78. Mile marker 12. Female. Mid 20s. Face down. Homicide suspected. No attempted burial. Thrown and discarded. Decomposition suggests 6 weeks since death. Wild animals got to body. Skeleton mostly intact. Left femur missing. No ID. Prostitute? Photograph in back pocket.
Green. Not eaten. Not trampled into the dust. Food, or maybe poison. It didn’t matter which. Prisoner 13358 hadn’t been actively searching for either. If he had, he would have passed over the spot. An inconspicuous clay lump shielded the leaves that cowered between the stack of lumber and the barracks wall.
Mahzar sat cross-legged on the sandy floor and gripped his staff to still his trembling hands. Suluboya’s painted face stared at him from the corner of the tent as if waiting for him to renounce his promotion. “This is the will of the tribe,” he said to the idol. “I did not choose this. Nor did I choose Devrim’s actions.”