Julius’s Gift

“Octavia, do not hold your threads so clumsily; you are not an animal,” Cassia said. Her young mistress frowned and then suddenly threw the ball of dyed yarn on the floor. “Cassia, you may be my slave but I cannot weave even to a quarter of your abilities,” Octavia said with derision. “Weaving is useless; [...]

Midnight’s Song

Leaves rustle, a twig snaps. My eyes flash open, two sulfurous spheres wide on my dish-like face. My white feathers are rumpled, awry, and misplaced on my back. I peer out of the tree, gazing out through my window, a round hole in the rough bark. Moonlight glimmers off every surface, landing in shimmering pools, [...]


“Bye, guys!” Mom called as she shut the door behind her. I looked at my sister. “Can I watch TV?” That was one of the two questions that I asked Nava every time we were home alone. “No,” she said. “Can I have some ice cream?” She looked at me with her I-can’t-believe-what-I-have-to-live-with face and [...]

Double Wave

It was hot, much too hot and stifling for my liking. My long-sleeved wetsuit wasn’t helping, and the zippered ankles weren’t much relief. I sighed and rolled down the window. Soooo much better. The playful wind whispered in my ear, danced around my collarbone, and lifted my hair just slightly off my back. Minutes later, [...]

More or Less

This story includes some words in Tagalog, the language of the Philippines. See the glossary at the end of the story. Today, Lina didn’t wake up from hunger, thirst, or the heat like she usually did. Today she woke up from the sound of voices. She looked at the rusty alarm clock on the shelf [...]

My Dog Bella

When I arrive home from school she’s there waiting, in the window. She wags her tail joyfully. Her long slobbery tongue licks me all over. As I open the door to the backyard Bella bolts out into the yard. I grab a bouncy tennis ball and throw it as far as I can. She races [...]

Without You, My Right Shoe

I must have been only six at the time, my sister, Poppy, two I must have wondered why Poppy decided to look at the parked cars in the parking lot rather than walk the Stone Arch Bridge. My mom must have stayed behind with Poppy, leaving only my dad, my aunt, and myself to see [...]


Nothing ever stays the same Family going, Never coming back Tears fall Goodbyes made Why won’t the world stop spinning? Sorrow, joy Blended into one Leaving, For a better place Why can’t we go as well? Tears dry Life moves on Events fade Time blurs Were they ever here at all? A memory A smile [...]

The Lucy Variations

The Lucy Variations, by Sara Zarr; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: New York, 2013; $18 An inspiring tale of a young musician finding her place in this crazy world, The Lucy Variations is a journey about finding yourself and accomplishing your dreams no matter what giant obstacles are blocking your way. Lucy’s little brother’s [...]

The Blackhope Enigma

The Blackhope Enigma, by Teresa Flavin; Templar Publishing: United Kingdom, 2011; $12.70 What? When? Why? These were the thoughts running through my head as I flipped through The Blackhope Enigma. Written by Teresa Flavin, this novel is a perfect example of when reality and fantasy clash and the result is beautiful. What is an enigma? [...]