“Come here so I can lay my head on your shoulder.” Propped up in bed by a mountain of pillows, he rests his blue-lined, much-scared hand down on the comforter beside him. The other hand lies across his stomach, IV’s and plastic sprouting from it and running down the side of the bed. His wife … Continue reading Her Favorite Place
The holiday lines snake around the front of the store. People hesitate in confusion as to where to stand or where to go. The required six feet of space between people casts the queues into confusing tangles. Registers beep. Cart wheels whirr. Almost everyone looks at their toes or adjusts their masks. They scrunch their … Continue reading Holiday Madness
God, these people, Jay thinks. He tries hard not to arch his head back or roll his eyes. It’s bad enough that he can't keep the sneer of scorn from his lips. “Well, how do you like that, global warming people?” the minister says in passing. They alway take their hits in passing. Religious people. … Continue reading Holding Hands, Not Meeting Hearts
Post-pandemic family dinners have become dangerous and shaky ground. Allison feels the anxiety coat her bowels before she even gets out of bed. Thanksgiving used to be her favorite, but now with multiple families and multiple worldviews and every bit of life a hot-button issue, she just wants to pull the covers over her head. … Continue reading When Moms Explode
"Have you two set a date yet?" the man asks. Mary glances at Jack. Jack's face flushes around the edges; his smile grows sheepish. They both look at their interrogator and blush. "Oh, you know," Mary says. "Maybe one of these days..." © 2021 Katie Baker
"Isn't that the wrong slur to use?" Amy asks nonchalantly from behind the kitchen sink, water gushing from the faucet. "What?" Shocked--bewildered!-- Ben looks up to see if he heard right... as if one could SEE what they were supposed to HEAR. "That's not even the right way to use that slur," she says. And … Continue reading No Greater Sin Than This
Standing at the top of the mountain pass, the crags of the summit hang above us. The parking area is scooped out from the side of the mountain, and a small hut with restrooms and concession counter sits back between the gray folds of a sheer cliff. I am only seven. I have a bladder … Continue reading Prompt: The Farthest You’ve Been From Home
I cannot shut off the voices.