A Sewing Machine From 1919

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My daughter and I stared at the machine.

“I like that it’s black,” she said.  “And those designs are so cool.  There’s so much detail.  Why doesn’t ours look like this?  I might even use it if it looked like this.  Wait…”  She turned to me.  “Do you think it still works?”

I peered at the machine sitting on the kitchen table, the sewing machine that I had inherited from my grandmother almost fifteen years ago.  Long before Selma was born.  I hadn’t laid eyes on it in all that time (even the few times I’d moved, I’d kept it packed away or covered).  And before that, I’d never seen it at all.  Continue reading

The Brontide Beast

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“Earthquakes?  This ain’t California.”

Sheriff Lockley shook her head at her deputy.

“Well it’s not Kansas either and we get the occasional tornado some summers,” she said, peering at the television screen in her office.

The sheriff, two deputies, and the science reporter for the Acton Daily were watching the latest report on the strange rumblings that had started almost a year ago.

“We’re just lucky, Grubbs” the reporter said.  “We get a little taste of all the natural disasters.”

Grubbs crossed her arms and frowned.  “If it’s just earthquakes, why is it happening a few times a week now?  I’ve never heard of that.  That can’t be natural.”

Lockley wondered the same thing.

*** Continue reading

Sam and The Sequence

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Sometimes a thing isn’t good or evil in itself. The sequence is a thing like this. It becomes good or evil when you touch it. If you are good, it becomes good. If you are evil, it becomes evil. But we humans…we are both. What happens when we touch it?

Sam lay her fingers on the page where those words were written. The man who’d written them had been dead for almost a century. Continue reading

Cloaked in Clay

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They say that a sculptor doesn’t create what she sculpts.  She only reveals what is already there in the medium.  I was not finding that to be true.  Either there was nothing to be revealed in the lump of clay that sat on the workbench before me, or I didn’t have the skill that a real sculptor is supposed to have.  The skill of sight.  The skill to see what it is that is seeking to be revealed in the medium.

Come on, I thought.  Reveal yourself.

*** Continue reading

The Flight of Flea

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When he was young and heard the stories of the mythical birds and flying beasts of legend, he imagined himself as one of them.  Powerful, ferocious, graceful, wise, and heroic.  He imagined that one day, he would grow up to be like Phoenix, with its flaming wings and healing tears.  He dreamed of being like Quetzlcóatl, worshipped by the two-leggers who otherwise ruled over all other beasts.  When he heard the stories of Garuda, he was Garuda, flying the ancient gods to and fro on their quests.  The thunderbird.  The trickster raven.  The creator heron known as Benu.

He was in awe of them all.  And he wanted to learn to acquire their qualities.  Cleverness, strength, knowledge.  And wings so magnificent that all creatures great and small were gripped with awe at their sight.

But whenever he would voice such longings, he was always ridiculed, for he was so small that all who knew him called him the flea bird, and soon that became his name, “Flea.” Continue reading