Beyond Bone

The sky glows white and bright and blinding. I shield my eyes with my hand and am brought back to my childhood, palm covering my face as I counted 7-8-9-10, ready or not, here I come. Back then my palms were always oily and sticky from shorteats—cutlets and patties and deep-fried spiced dough—and honey-sweet treats … More Beyond Bone

Hairline Fracture

It is with much skepticism that Maynard Vijaya considers a new hairline. He thumbs through the catalog of possibilities: the widow’s peak, the low hairline, the high hairline. Well, those are the only three options, really. Except for the receding hairline, which he already has. But the pages of the catalog reveal all of the … More Hairline Fracture

One Piece at a Time

Jan woke up to the scratchy tickle of a tumbleweed rolling over her face. It was a strange sensation. Like she was trapped in some underworld where scribbly creatures danced over dead bodies. When she opened her eyes, she saw a solid block of gray—a blank nothingness. But then she turned her head and saw … More One Piece at a Time

Daydream Believer

When my daydream manifested as reality, I was 13 years old. Sitting in English class, nose buried in A Wrinkle in Time, I began sniffling uncontrollably. That wasn’t the daydream…but that was the unfortunate backdrop against which my daydream came true. The classroom was a graveyard and my classmates appeared dead. They were, in fact, … More Daydream Believer

The Flatmate

The teakettle shrieked as Isabelle trudged across the flat to retrieve it.  She was in no hurry.  Let it scream, she thought.  She wished she could.  But Isabelle was lost in melancholia.  Screaming about Billy’s betrayal seemed too much effort.  Instead, she had been nestling within the sanctuary of sleep, still occupying only her side … More The Flatmate

Blue Note

A sweet, blue clarinet melody slipped through Rashmi’s open window like a velvet ribbon carried in on a breeze. The sultry strain of music wrapped itself around her softly, so softly, as she sat on the sofa reading a novel. Rashmi set down the book and pressed her eyes shut as the smooth notes caressed … More Blue Note

The Sorcerer

On her 30th birthday, Nimali met a sorcerer.  This was quite unexpected, as she had stopped believing in magic – like many – in childhood, once Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy turned out to be elaborate hoaxes.  And she had discarded her cherished fantasy novels back in high school, when the … More The Sorcerer

Self Help

Wraina was a precocious little girl.  She noticed things, like how her father’s breath stunk of whiskey on the nights that he had to “work late” or how her mother’s voice rang with false cheer when saying “I’m fine, and you?” to acquaintances in town who asked “How are you?” She sensed the tension that … More Self Help

The Creation

In the beginning, Goddess created land and skies to form a world, which she called Dalynia. Now, the world was empty, so Goddess filled it with light and darkness, color and shape, landscapes and villages. The land ascended and fell in mountain peaks and flat valleys, with sugar-water lakes pooling on the plateau-tops and citrus-water … More The Creation

Opening Time

Fired.  Dinesh had been fired.  It had been four days since his meltdown, but still he sat in a shadowy corner of Rob’s Pub and nursed stiff drinks, staring with a dazed expression at the bar.  After the first few hours of panic and misery, Dinesh shut down.  He did not think about what happened; … More Opening Time