BLESSING

Only when the pain of his headache caused flashes of light large enough to interfere with his observation time at the telescope did Ansel go to the doctor. He expected a prescription. He received a terminal prognosis: an acorn had been planted in his brain. Based on the growth rate of the roots, Ansel had…

TREASURE

When the islet broke the surface of the ocean, Ines put on her diving regulator and stepped off the back of the boat. She studied the catacomb of undersea caves at the base of the island. Picking an entrance outlined in blue and red tiles, Ines held her breath. As she drifted into the cave,…

NEGOTIATION

When first assigned to arbitrate the Felidae Accords, Divine Moderator Sandusky followed Robert’s Rules of Order. None of the deities cooperated and his pay was docked to replace the curtains. He tried various venues and different times of day (and night). He was ignored, scratched, bitten, and his pay was docked to replace the curtains. …

DESTINY

When she was eighty-seven years old, Beryl moved to Wilcherry to avoid the family curse. On her ninetieth birthday, the dingo showed up in Beryl’s living room. Putting her cup of tea on the kitchen counter to avoid throwing it at the dog, Beryl sat on the couch. “There aren’t any dingoes in this area.”…

MAGIC

Missy breathed into her hand, sniffed, winced, and opened the door anyway. The mailman handed her a box the size of basketball. Back inside, Missy saw the return address belonged to her ex, so she tossed the box into the kitchen trash. Then she had a drink. And another. And one more. And passed out…