Regan Strehl

United States of America

Published Work

Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Blink

Dust mote meteor with a tail of fire,
hurtling towards a black hole-
covered by sticky glass.
A thick skinned wave slides down,
A feathered tendril unfurls,
and curls around the gritty ball of flame.
Catching it, ensnaring it, before the wave recedes,
the tendril let's go,
and sends the meteor on it's way. 

The Hotel Room

A bleached, polished, and febreezed hotel room has been lived in for little over a week. The lavish and pristine setting that the hotel prides itself on has all but vanished.
The small metal waste bin is overflowing with snotty tissues and empty beer cans. The microwave has angry red splatters covering every surface within. The counter has been layered with seven days of crumbs, and something else dark and sticky. The beds are unmade. One has clearly been slept in, the other is covered with soiled clothing. A forest green suitcase lay gaping open in the corner.
The cleaning woman, Sera, unlocks the door then calls out into the room. No one answers. This is not unusual to Sera. Plenty of people had abandoned whole suitcases full of things before. And the mess is a given.
After half an hour of scrubbing, vacuuming, and dusting, the main room was returned to its former glory. Sera sighs as she moved towards...

Library Magic

The Left Side of the Library

    When I was younger, my parents spent money more carefully than they do now. My mom refused to work because she didn't want to leave raising my younger brother and I up to a nanny. My father had a well paying job, but he was also our sole provider. So, more often than not, we were herded towards our local library and away from expensive bookstores.
    When I was a child, the library we frequented was more or less split in two. You could walk through the glass doors speckled with tiny fingerprints, and find yourself standing directly in front of the librarians' desks. There were five, but usually only two of them were in use. From there, you could either turn left and head towards the children's section, or right towards the adult's section.
    In those days I almost always went towards the left. For the benefit of smaller children, bookshelves were shorter there, which...

The Shift

We pulled up to Poppy’s house on the Fourth of July, fifteen minutes late.
    “Regan, Brian,” mom said. We both looked up and met her eyes in the rear view mirror. “Remember that Grandma Kacky and Poppy are divorced. So she’s not going to be here. Poppy is probably sad, so don’t ask him about it. Okay?”
    “Okay,” we said. Poppy married Grandma Kacky, his second wife, before I was born. She was nice enough to me, but she was hardly ever around. I wasn’t very sad about her being gone. I  hoped Poppy wasn’t too sad either.
Dad barely got the car parked before I threw my door open and jumped out. I ran past everyone in the front yard, saying the occasional hello over my shoulder, and toward the house. Inside, I shouted hello to everyone in the kitchen. A chorus of greetings answered me while I continued on toward the backyard. The door was already...

Sparks to Flames

I looked up into my dad's jovial face as he handed me the party-sized-bag of original Lays chips. The bag crackled, like fire, when I placed it in my lap. Two cherry pies were slipped into the foot space between my brother and I. My parents entered the car. The click of their seat belts was like a spark, igniting my enthusiasm. It was almost as if someone had flipped a switch, allowing me to fully realize what day it was. My brother's spark, however, had been ignited when he first opened his eyes. He continued to babble on beside me about the events taking place that afternoon.
    It was the fourth of July, and we could hardly wait.
    I believe that every family has their own special holiday: one that provokes the most home decorating, the most excited laughter, and occasionally the most property damage. For every family it is different. Some are very enthusiastic about Christmas,...

The Hotel Room

A bleached, polished, and febreezed hotel room has been lived in for little over a week. The lavish and pristine setting that the hotel prides itself on has all but vanished.
The small metal waste bin is overflowing with snotty tissues and empty beer cans. The microwave has angry red splatters covering every surface within. The counter has been layered with seven days of crumbs, and something else dark and sticky. The beds are unmade. One has clearly been slept in, the other is covered with soiled clothing. A forest green suitcase lay gaping open in the corner.
The cleaning woman, Edna, unlocks the door then calls out into the room. No one answers. This is not unusual to Sera. Plenty of people had abandoned whole suitcases full of things before. And the mess is a given.
After half an hour of scrubbing, vacuuming, and dusting, the main room was returned to its former glory. Sera sighs as she moved towards...

The Dragonfly

I leaned forward in my aunt’s lap, my small hands gripped the steering wheel, brow creased with frustration as I silently urged the jeep to ascend the steep hill. Despite the gravel lacing the incline, the wheels would occasionally lag; when that happened I would breath in sharply. I thought we would slip all the way back down the hill, but my aunt Sissy seemed unconcerned, and so did my baby brother. He did not understand the gravity of the situation, and just continued to laugh the whole way up. My aunt’s lack of concern was most likely due to the fact that I was driving, and she trusted my pro skills to get us to the top.
When we were just a few feet short of the peak, Sissy put the jeep in park. We all paused for a moment. I was reveling in the glory of my accomplishment, for I had navigated this awkward land vehicle up this...