“You missed a spot, sweetheart,” Abigail tells me, pointing at a triangle of white in the corner of a sea of wet blue paint, like a lonely iceberg.
I lean over as far as I can—almost there—and then suddenly my feet are slipping from the ladder, and my butt and the floor become thoroughly acquainted with each other.
I blink up at her and see amusement and concern warring on her face. I use the ladder to help haul myself up off the floor, and the motion sends blue paint sloshing from the can perched on the highest rung.
“Harry!” Abigail shrieks, rushing to clean up the mess.
I can’t help but laugh. “What’s wrong? It’s only a ladder.”
“Yes, but that paint was expensive,” she tells me, scowling. I keep laughing even as I move to help her, and the paint drip, drip, drips down the wood.
I took a ladder from a couple...
Mother knew how to escape the world with embroidery floss and fabric. We lived in a room with no windows, but it didn’t matter; she made her own. She stitched us portals to forests gleaming in shades of emerald and to shimmering lakes full of sailboats. There was one that led to the Amalfi coast, with its rows of houses like colorful little boxes, and one that took us to the ancient streets of Jerusalem. Her work glowed with its own light on every inch of the walls, in framed squares, on flowing curtains, even rippling down her body.
I liked to watch her while she worked. She would spend days designing, drawing, experimenting, picking out just the right fabrics. And then she would thread her needle with a glowing strand of light and begin.
Mother ran away from her family before I was born. Sometimes Grandfather came looking for us, and when he did, Mother would set down her...
Sometimes I dream there are holes in the sky.
Tonight, I am sitting with my legs dangling over the edge of a cliff overlooking miles of open ocean, staring at nothing. There are waves tearing at the rocks far below, opalescent with shifting blues and greens, and there are birds opening their beaks to sing; and yet I cannot hear any of it. I feel odd, as if there is a fog hovering in the corners of my mind whispering strange warnings, but for a long time my dream self refuses to acknowledge it. Then finally I look up and see a patch of sky with no color. It emanates an urgent sense of don’t notice methat is so strong, I can’t look at it straight on at first. And then I muster my will and look right at it, with its jagged edges and thin filaments strung across it like that of torn fabric, barely holding the edges...