Category: The Darkroom

Final beginning

Driving in the early morning fog, her car headlights barely cut through the murky dawn. Laurel packed her car tight with everything she owned, yet it was still a meager accounting of her life. There was no destination, all Laurel wanted was to get out of town. Laurel’s entire life was a series of new ...

Humble, oaken pew

Amber luminescence filters down through tissue paper bunting. Translucent pennons in hues of russet, gold, ochre and burnt umber tremble in anticipation. The scene seems as if it naturally grew there for just this moment. A beam of soft sunlight illuminates a humble, oaken pew, a message from above, “be still, and know that I ...

Upside down

The lake was like glass, the surface so clear, so pristine, it was difficult to tell what was real and what was a reflection. The world turned upside down or flipped right-side up? He stood poised on the end of pier, his toes extended over the edge of the worn, wooded boards. Slowly he raised ...

A homecoming

What came before: A Salt Life Poppy was convinced she had finally succumbed to space sickness. Her long, solitary trek and the loss of her entire crew to the perils of harsh planet exploration broke her spirit and snapped her sanity. It was impossible for a standard-argot speaking human to be standing in front of ...

Medicine Show

You could read the sign on the side of Dr. Randall’s medicine wagon from a half-mile away. He’d roll into town every couple of months to put on a show. It was a cross between a tent revival meeting and a wandering minstrel faire. Granny used to say all Randall sold was snake oil and ...

Don’t believe everything you think

Brain weasels chatter rudely Changing subjects midsentence. Keeping so many thoughts deftly Swirling in perfect balance Is harder than it appears. A juggling act of epic Proportions, by vague puppeteers, Meanspirited and choleric. Forgetfulness a necessary Defense against vicious lies Meant to keep life unhealthy Upended, disturbed otherwise. These are cautionary tales, To not believe ...

Watching, waiting

I try to avoid walking down that side of the street, though sometimes I can’t escape it. Whenever I go past the abandoned lot hidden behind pealing paint and rusty nails, I get that feeling that someone is watching me. Like, If I turned around suddenly I’d see a wild-eyed face pressed against the weathered ...

Day is never done

A woman’s workday is never done From first light to close of day, one continuous sweeping blur Spinnin’ ‘round the living room, cuttin’ a rug There’s no parking on the dance floor From daybreak to nightfall, a continuous scrubbing blur Windows, silverware, porcelain tile, every surface shines There’s no parking on the kitchen floor Turn ...

Dead man walking

The pathway through the marsh was built to endure - straight, solid, and indestructible. Even the marsh’s ravenous denizens were repelled by it. The stone viaduct was impervious to all but the miasma of wretchedness that rose from the muck. The fecund foliage surrounding the path encroached on the bridge’s low barrier rail stretching sinewy ...