In the very least, he had cut his losses.
The worst case scenario had played out and Deiya was mostly alive, no longer on fire, and a moment away from reaming out anyone who dared a word in his direction. Deiya Nadine is done for today.
Rotten Black Smoke is about continuing to live after trauma, as a person with a history of trauma. It's also about not quite being alive. Those two things are sometimes the same things.
Mrs. Morrison was too busy to die.
She was too busy being dead.
The ashes on Beau Morrison’s mantle were of Latisha Jardin, they whispered her name in the voice of her cremated wife every time she drew near. Her own, personalized siren song; beckoning her to succumb, to pass on, to be deceased.
But Mrs. Morrison was too busy doing the things dead people do.
Originally a submission for The First Line's Fall 2016 volume.
If anyone ever asked, June would rattle off the date of two day’s prior with a practised ease. Everyone, especially the older folks and the young folks not old enough to think beyond lessons of older folks – everyone asked. It was an automatic part of greeting one another; it was ‘hello’, 'how are you?’, 'when did you count last?’. The older folks have words to say on manners and impolite language, but of late the common shorthand is 'last count?’.
If Jeremy could be anything, she’d be a dragon. Since that was implausible, she settled on herself; hair dyed bright, tight curls styled to a ridge, and a constant trail of smoke seeping out from the back of her mouth. It blended with her hot breath on the morning chill, making her fog trail distinct from the other joggers.
Sunmi was shorter by a foot and a half; taking the hazardous, bush-filled side of the paved path. She neatly ducked under some rhododendrum, not at all wishing she were taller or a mythical beast. Mostly, she wished she could keep up with the sixty-something woman beside her, and that Mugsly wouldn’t roll in mud this time.
Inspired by art of an elderly queer person, this story is about being the person you are, because you are that person.