The next day Storm returned to the street outside Lady Llyswa’s house, but the girl didn’t appear. Undaunted, he came back the next day, and the day after that, tucked into the shadows so that the few passersby or the house’s inhabitants wouldn’t notice him waiting for hours. On the fourth day, he was rewarded when the window opened and a blonde head popped out.
“Hello!” he called up to her.
She looked down and smiled. “Have you been waiting for me?”
Storm considered a witty reply, but he was so happy to see her…
Read Part 1
Time did pass for Carys, but as the years went by her father didn’t come to visit. She quickly learned that asking about when she’d see him or when she could return home only earned her a whipping. Her father had been a gambler, she also learned, always wagering more than he had and losing it all. And now he’d lost his daughter as well.
Over the years, though, her memories of him, and of Orllewinol, faded until they were mostly just vague ideas, as if they were stories that had happened to someone else.
“Race you,” Carys called to her friends as they ran from the village green to the river bordering their tiny village.
“No fair,” one boy shouted after her. “You already started!”
“Then you should run faster!” Carys said with a laugh.
Carys didn’t actually care about winning. For her, the race was all about the rush of the wind in her long hair, the feel of the cool grass beneath her bare feet. …
Big Ed has just drifted off to sleep when Rana starts screaming. He scrounges under the bed until he’s awake enough to remember that in this new life, he doesn’t have a gun.
He feels naked in more ways than one as he rushes into the bathroom.
“What’s wrong, babe?”
She points to the wall.
He wants to tell her he’s relieved it’s just a spider, but that would lead to a conversation he’s not ready to have. Instead, he uses cardboard to relocate it outside.
“My hero,” she says, smiling.
Nobody’s ever called him that before.
He smiles too.
Sometimes, when all our patients are asleep, my coworkers and I at the psych hospital joke we need admitted here too, for a quick break away.
Away from the grief of loss that never ends.
Away from the voices telling us we should end it all because we’re not good enough.
Away from the trusted adult that betrayed us in the most devastating, inappropriate way possible.
Away from the meth and vodka that don’t ease the pain.
For us it’s a break, but there’s no break for our patients.
So we don’t take that break after all.
For our patients.
Once upon a time there was this guy, let’s call him Dave. Dave really wanted a PlayStation 5, but they’re super expensive and Dave worked at Hardee’s making barely above minimum wage, and between his student loan repayments and rent and groceries and Ubers there was no way he could ever afford one.
So every day, Dave was getting more despondent. His roommate, let’s call him Buster, asked him what was wrong.
“I really want a PlayStation 5,” Dave explained, “but can’t afford one.”
“You could save up,” Buster suggested.
Dave thought was a great idea. He got a second…