She sat down, anger gone. Dissipated. Like a promised storm that never lands after the clouds are blown away by the wind. Alina didn’t go to Hira’s funeral. She would never open that chat again. After her phone broke, she didn’t throw it away. She packed it in a box, tissue paper at the edges and put it away in a drawer.
A Tiny Pebble
The shelves with Tarot books were so densely packed that I wondered if magic prevented them from collapsing. The books ranged from huge to small with covers from muddy brown to flaming yellow. I saw one that said it was the complete guide. I flipped through the pages and thought my mom might be dead before I got through the first half of the book.
Sister, Mother, Martyr
I rushed to the living room, my feet carrying me with a sense of urgency that I had never experienced before, with a sense of anticipation of something sinister and something quite uncanny. I saw my mother kneeling beside his cursing body as he held her by the hair, her vitiligo white skin stained by his blood.
The next morning, I found Zakaria and, by the afternoon, Nasima was in my flat swabbing the floors in a green sari. She was dark and thin with high cheekbones and deep-set eyes that sparked. She told me she was twenty-five, a year my senior. She had three children and a husband who peddled a cycle rickshaw.
Before her unexpected death, one for the books, really, my mother aimed for fancy. She smelled like musky southern roses. She exuded beauty, with her violet eyes — Elizabeth Taylor eyes — and skin soft as peaches. And yet, all the while, something unkind coursed through her, and I could not tell you why. Was it the town?
Before The Father He Knew
As they walked down the hallway, he felt embarrassed at the thought that if the restaurant were full, he wouldn’t be able to pick out Xaver. Fortunately, it was between lunch and dinner hour, and the restaurant was empty. The lone man sitting at the back table looked like an older version of a photo Finn had seen of Xaver.
Grandma Stone’s Hair
The house seemed to be riddled with mysterious happenings. One evening, while he was climbing up the stairwell to his room on the second floor, he felt an unexpected gust of cold wind. It was the last spell of winter, and he knew there could not possibly be such a wind from the south, yet he could clearly feel its bite.
Sounds Heard in a Tent at Night
I am not sure if they made any sound. Returning to the tent, I poked my head into the flap and saw myself still asleep on the ground. With an emerging daze at the back of my head, I looked up from the bag to see that there was nobody at the tent’s entrance. It was zipped shut.
Joshua and Eric, they are good boys. Boys are easier. The boys don’t give me much trouble. Of course, Eric is spoiled, but he is small and doesn’t know. Joshie is my best. Joshie tells me, “Mommy, I love you so much.” He doesn’t forget the garbage or his laundry. When I say, “Mop the floors!” Joshie mops the floors. When I say, “Vacuum the car. Now!” Joshie vacuums the car.