She was looking ahead, eyes parallel with the ground.

She was looking ahead, eyes perpendicular with the ground.

Parallel. Perpendicular. Parallel. Perpen... parallel.

The car came to rest. Her weight pressed her into the seatbelt. Gravity pressed her really, but she thought of her weight first. Gene had made her borderline bulimic. Speaking of: she wretched onto the ceiling of the car.

Gene's eyes, perpendicular, winced. "Lovely," he said.

Her eyes closed. "Just one last puke, to cap off a year of puke together."

"A year of memorable voms. Remember the first one?"

She nodded.

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In her rear-view mirror, she saw Gene turn. He looked at the bush, at her, at the bush again, and then felt his pockets. Phone, wallet, ke...

He bolted for the bush. Heather slammed her hand against the ignition and turned the key. Grinding metal. The car was already on. She floored it and turned for the bush. No clear plan had formed in her mind but she could see Gene sprinting. The bush arrived and the car rose up to meet it, bouncing over the rockery and screeching up the hill. Grinding metal again. The wheels were spinning. Smoke...

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2070. Last digits of the code. No matter what they did, I was not going to tell them the rest of it. My undercover mercenary training would allow me to live for longer than the other hostages.

On the last day of the siege, everyone was dead but three of us. Now they wanted us to fight against ourselves to the death, only way we could be given life saving water. Jackson saved us the guilt, died at 10 am. Lewis, a meek accountant, killed himself. This wasn't the way the captors were expecting to spend their afternoon so decided...

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The building I lived in was old, rusty around the doorknobs, the 14th floor was still half under construction. The week of Thanksgiving would be my last there. I was moving Upstate; the leaves were gone, but I knew I needed a change. I had a flashback to 7 years ago, when I was 19. As I was packing my boxes from my soon-to-be-old apartment, I remembered standing in the middle of the road, staring at that white house. I looked left, then right. To the right of me were the woods, an eerie glow radiated toward me. To the...

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Within sight.

A new future within sight. Fresh hope, fresh starts.

Leaving behind everything we know and everything we hold true and dear, taking a chance on this foreign alien land because we have to. Because we have no othe choice and no other hope.

Who decides rights? Who decides the boy gets an education and the girl gets survival? Without the girl there would be no Decider.

Why does she take the front seat? Why must they lounge inter luxuries of lands which are not theirs?

A family exists elsewhere. Speaking another tongue and wearing a different skin does...

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My tiny, paper-thin dream floating on the darkness of my memories. That's all I could feel, all I could see, all I could hear, day in, day out. Taunting me. Tempting me.

If only I did. If only I didn't. I could be Somebody if I weren't so frightened of being Somebody.

Trapped in this limbo is a game for no man. The future is lovely and bright. It exposes me for what I am. The past is dream and lingering. It holds onto me with every tiny hook it owns, each day adding a new one.

To be free....

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"What the hell does that mean!"

Rena tried to understand the words on the paper clutched in her hand as she curled up on the couch. "Gram?" she whispered into the phone, "What did they say?"

"Oh, just a little of this and that, you know, dear. When you get old, they all end up sounding the same. It's always something, honey."

"Geez." Rena breathed for a moment. "I don't even know what to say, Gramma. I wish it wasn't like this. Do you think you'll be able to come visit this year?" Rena immediately regretted the question; it just...

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The lamp wouldn't turn on. "Shit," Mel muttered. "Jerry!"

Of course, he wouldn't come. He was in the tiny bathroom, savoring the one amenity included in the rent, his head bowed under the shower's heavy, erratic spray.

Mel moved over to the dusty window. Rocking back and forth with Ollie on her hip, she pulled the curtain aside and grabbed at a cloth sitting on the sill. Not caring what it was, she wiped at the windows and tried to see out. Somehow they never seemed to stay clean. Mel was amazed at the amount of dust that always seemed...

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Once, in Beijing, a young girl in a red gown huddled in a doorway. She leaned on the door frame, getting support from the wood that she no longer got from her feat. The binding had just begun and already she has trouble balancing herself.

Her mother told her that this was tradition. That to go before the matchmaker she needed to be beautiful. To achieve the perfection of beauty she needed to sway in the wind like the willow tree.

The girl had no desire to sway in the wind, she wanted to be the wind. To go where...

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"Well, I'm sorry if I led you on." My voice is sarcastic and bitter and a little more harsh than I'd intended but I can't take it back now so instead I use the momentum to carry my forward.
"Yeah, well, you did. Why did you have to go and stomp on my heart again, huh?" I can feel the hot blood burning in my ears.
"Too bad!" I scream as loud as I can. My throat is sore but I don't care.
"You know what? This conversation is over." I can't believe him.
"Fine!" I just want to get...

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