Dear Nate....

Image Credit: Belinda H., Palm Harbor, FL Dear Nate I don’t really know what to say or how to start this, but I guess I’ll start from what’s happened to me since you left and go from there. So many things have happened and so much has changed. I’m not so defensive anymore and I’ve got friends now: Harriet, Olivia, Gervais, Jamie and you, of course! I’m now studying at the U. I got the acceptance letter a few weeks after you left. Thanks to Gervais, I got 91% on my Calc test! A few days afterwards, I opened that gift you gave me on Valentine’s Day. I love the earrings, but it feels strange without my necklace. I miss it, but that life is in the past now. I’m moving on. I handed in my English research project. You know, at the start I thought, “Great, I picked something I neither want nor have” but I’ve leant that there are many definitions of family. I brought in two pictures: One showed Jamie’s extended family and the other was taken at my 18th birthday. I didn’t want anything, but Cora insisted on organizing a party anyway- you know how she is! I wish you had been there, but you’ve got your own life with you Mum in Arizona now. The photo of the party isn’t great, but it’s the perfect thing to capture that moment. In it, we’re all standing by the pond: Me in the middle, Cora and Olivia on one side, Harriet and Reggie (who is staring at her) on the other. Gervais is the only one eating cake and finally Jamie, who is slightly blurred from rushing back into the photo. I hardly recognise myself as the same person from all those months ago: Defensive and unwilling to trust anyone for fear of being abandoned. I used to think I could handle everything on my own, but now I’ve learnt that sometimes you have to reach out to someone else to really accept the past. That’s why I came after you that day you vanished. I’d already realized it was OK to accept help and I wanted you realize that too. You won’t believe this, but Cora’s pregnant! I found out the last week of school. You have to come visit us! I really miss you- Ume and email aren’t the same. Take Care. I love you. Ruby


In June, she was a vision. Straight, even rows of tiny, green shoots reaching toward the sun. In July, she blossomed from summer rains. A familiar anticipation began to set in. Then came August, and she was ripe with bounty. Now, the fruits of our labor realized, we both rest. Susan Gale Wickes is a … Continue reading SUSAN GALE WICKES: The Garden →

SHAW CHEN: Reintegration

The livestream of his daughter’s birth crawled; he didn’t recognize himself in the black flicker. Just earlier he shot a child who had pointed a gun at him. Watched the hate and fear fade from his eyes. She’s now the only part of him that still belongs in this world. Shaw Chen is a USAF … Continue reading SHAW CHEN: Reintegration →

BOB THURBER: Weathering Another Day of Missing Her

Some aches, like some days, were worse than others. He swallowed a pill to make himself sunny, but within hours the clouds were back. He practiced his breathing. Meanwhile, real clouds, gray and big as mountains, bumped against the window. Some kind of wild bird was cawing in the trees. Bob Thurber is the author … Continue reading BOB THURBER: Weathering Another Day of Missing Her →


She reads quietly in the corner, sublimely beautiful. Serene. Her soul surrounds her, highlighting every motion, drawing me like a moth to a flame. I’m not worried that I’ll burn, only that she’ll never notice my tiny spark against her brightness. Smiling, she looks up from her book. “Hi, there.” Raven Corinn Carluk writes dark … Continue reading RAVEN CORINN CARLUK: Incandescent →


A man wrote a song and died. Trembling, the song tried to sing herself. Each day she practised, flexing melodic limbs, strengthening pale notes, until she came to understand discordant beauty. That day, her song spilled into rivers and comet trails, spread throughout galaxies. The universe leaned in to listen. Lisa Alletson is an emerging … Continue reading LISA ALLETSON: Discordant →