A Carnival of Cakes

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Digital drawing. Background, a two-layer round chocolate cake with a slice cut out, with orange frosting, chocolate glaze on top and dripping down the sides, and overlapping round orange slices wrapped around the bottom. Tall glowing triangles of sugar candy crown the top. Foreground left, a square piece of two-layer cake with sprinkles, frosted with whipped cream, topped with three berries in a diagonal, and sprigs of tiny leaves. Foreground right, a square cake seen from top and along on corner, with frosting piped at the bottom and top borders. The word “Farewell” is written on the top. The word “Level” is written on the visible sides. A shadowy hand emerges from right and reaches for the cakes. Another hand grasps the first at the wrist.

On the eve of the winter solstice, ever since I can remember, my brothers and I have played a game that only we can play.

It’s because we made it up.  We made it up together.  I would have let my brothers decide everything.  I was the littlest.  I didn’t know as much as they knew.  I didn’t know anything.  But they told me that was the point.  No one knew anything in the beginning of their journeys.  They only started knowing things by going on the journey.  By making decisions before they even knew what the right decision was.

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The Margin Alien

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Don’t spend too much time looking around, I told myself.  Just find Andy, fix the harness, and come on back.

My brother had said the place was amazing and the people were great and that he couldn’t wait to take us there, once he was sure it would be safe.  

But I couldn’t let that dazzle me.  Especially since a small part of me wondered if he’d somehow gotten enthralled into staying longer than he’d intended.  Maybe he’d lost track of time.  I glanced over at the kids, who stood thirty feet away in the doorway.  Andy didn’t allow himself to lose track of time anymore, unless someone else was taking care of the kids.  And the state of his bedroom, his garage…

Remember why you’re going there.

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