Fantasy Drabble #359 "To Walk The Earth"

She plodded across the carefully-maintained grass to where he was standing lost in thought by a restored field piece; when she was close enough, she asked, "Were you here?"

"Sure," he said, nodding, then pointed and continued, "I took a bullet to the thigh about a thousand yards that way. Those big, slow-moving bullets, they tumbled through the air, they tumbled through your flesh when they hit you."

Every ten years or so — sometimes twenty — they'd reconnect like this, and he always wanted to talk about the past, about ages ago, lifetimes. "Is that all you remember, just the pain?"

Primer Contacto

The other children had run, frightened by the noise and light or by the understanding of what the noise and light represented. José had run, too, faster than ever before. At some point, though, he had realized his abuela had not run, that she could not have run; he crept back to the house in bare-footed silence without any other thought than the realization that he could not simply leave her behind.

José pulled the squeaky screen door open a millimeter at a time, listening between heartbeats. As he crept up the hall his abuela's voice was agitated as she related the story of how her father had been arrested during more radical times, how he had disappeared. She talked passionately, plaintively, of humanity, of grief, of mercy. Through the hole in the curtain, his body now frozen like a churchyard statue, José could see what she was talking to.

They Come Out Of The Dark

"Where are the candles? There have to be candles." She was in the kitchen, opening drawers and cabinets, clattering and banging. "Somewhere. And matches?"

"My phone's almost dead. And no service." He meandered through the house, phone held up and out, watching the screen for any sign of connection. "Maybe they killed the cell tower too."

"Mine's been dead an hour. Forgot to turn off wi-fi."

He was at the kitchen doorway. "We could go. Don't even pack up. It's only an hour down to the main road. The car has headlights, Joan."

"Don't you think they've thought of that?"

Up With People

"She's been there all afternoon." The nurse shook her head. "Usually she never misses arts and crafts, but—"

"Emily?" The doctor took a step closer, spoke in low, reassuring tones. "Is everything all right?"


"What are you looking at?"


"Do you mind if I look at the sky with you?"

She didn't say anything, just moved over so there was room beside her at the windowsill. He knelt down, turned around, leaned back to put his head against the  moulding. The clouds slid by above them: excruciatingly, majestically slow. "Pretty."

"Better than arts and crafts," Emily whispered, conspiratorially.