Afternoon Miniature 3.12.23

Every elementary school in this metropolis reeked by May of stale lunch, chewed-up pencils, and a fatigue that hung heavily, everywhere; on the staff it also betrayed itself in their careworn expressions. The dismissal queue came a little earlier every day while teachers crowed deadline reminders over the din of desks jostled out of place, casualties of children headed for the door with an urgency … Continue reading Afternoon Miniature 3.12.23

Afternoon Miniature 1.8.23

Constance was not as old-fashioned as her name and in fact the suggestion of youth lingered in her face and hair still, surprisingly, for her age. The woman staring back at her in the bathroom mirror was attractive enough, she reassured herself. Lately, though, she had put on some weight, not too much, but enough to make her tug at her clothing all day unless … Continue reading Afternoon Miniature 1.8.23

Afternoon Miniature 10.9.22

There was so much to do yet, too much. Every corner needed swept, every cobweb dusted away. But first all the drapes had to come down and be washed of an entire year’s worth of soot; once clean, they’d flap cheerfully in the wind on the clothes line at the side of the house; a passerby might observe the gauzy sheers cavorting with loud florals … Continue reading Afternoon Miniature 10.9.22

Afternoon Miniature 5.30.22

It takes time for the world to teach a child to discriminate, for better or for worse. And so it never dawned on this child, at the tender age of six, that she should not fraternize with her young peer in the adjacent house, where cars perched like relics atop cinder blocks out front and in the drive, where the dallisgrass sent feathery shoots up … Continue reading Afternoon Miniature 5.30.22

Afternoon Miniature 3.20.22

Emmy’s mother had beseeched her to let him have just one more chance before giving up. “Think of your daughter,” she urged. “Jules needs her daddy.” It was an argument that fell flat, though, entreated by the voice of a generation who didn’t speak to her sensibilities. The generation who insisted every woman needed a knight on a steed as a measure of comfort to … Continue reading Afternoon Miniature 3.20.22

Afternoon Miniature 2.20.22

It had been five years since she left the glass and steel landscape behind her. Five years since she threw caution to the wind, and drove up into the Colorado Rockies with Wolfgang, escaping to a wintry ghost town. Wolfy-the-rescue, the wolf-dog hybrid whose shelter days were numbered. It was not the most inventive name, but suited him well enough. It had been five years … Continue reading Afternoon Miniature 2.20.22

Afternoon Miniature 1.16.22

The Boy climbed into the back seat and folded his arms in defiance but did not cry, for it was not his style. “Buckle in,” she urged, and then turned over the car engine and flipped on the heat. She adjusted the rear-view mirror before throwing it into reverse, and in so doing, caught a glimpse of the shadowy contours in his angry face. “Want … Continue reading Afternoon Miniature 1.16.22

Afternoon Miniature 12.19.21

Yesterday afternoon in a rare moment of quiet she observed a single Darjeeling leaf floating in the steaming liquid gold, a strainer escapee swimming around her spoon. Why can’t this gorgeous elixir awaken the body like the bitter coffee it seems to demand instead, she mused. But this morning had started in the usual way, obscenely early and with the first coffee taken in the … Continue reading Afternoon Miniature 12.19.21

Afternoon Miniature 11.7.21

Everything about the dark interior of this modest rancher suggested it might have been kempt in a recent chapter, but what light he allowed inside it now shone on a jumble of objects fallen to neglect. At this moment a sunbeam shot through a slice in the kitchen curtains and found his eye, prompting him to shield it with one gnarled hand while he yanked … Continue reading Afternoon Miniature 11.7.21

Afternoon Miniature 10.3.21

The pair sat there on the thick carpet cross-legged, knees touching knees, wearing seersucker outfits that tied at the shoulder and came trimmed in rickrack. Playsuits, their mothers called them. Midday sunshine filtered through foliage in a large tree just beyond the room’s only window, so that there was no need to switch on a lamp or the overhead light. But the room felt shadowy … Continue reading Afternoon Miniature 10.3.21