Pomp

In essence, it was a royal journey through the Carniolan estates so His Majesty might receive the hereditary homage in person. Simple enough, but Emperor Leopold placed great value in pomp. Nothing less than three brigades of horse guards in full turn-out, fifteen gilt carriages to carry what amounted to his entire court, dozens of…

Five to Four

George stood at his mother’s door and composed his expression. For years now the mere mention of Arlington was apt to send her into fits, and her health had not been good. She could read his face like a headline. Still, this was good news––of a sort. He tapped and entered. She sat upright in…

Sükhbaatar Well Met

“Have you ever seen such a horseman?” Yanjmaa had not. Certainly she had seen great riders, even a Mongol cavalryman famous for throwing a dagger and skewering a running rabbit as he galloped past,  reigning in and bending in the saddle to retrieve both weapon and quarry in one quick motion. But she had never…

Then, and Now

He took his time with the adze, setting it against the wood with relaxed precision and drawing it across the grain as though floating a scarf through the air. The bright curls of oak drifted down onto the toes of his boots. He set the adze aside and ran his hand along the smooth board,…

Fantasmas Em Toda Parte

I learn this from Bonifatius Mbwale. He is known to lie, but to tell a proper story both truth and lies are often employed. Bonifatius is a man of such power that it is better to believe him than not, for to contradict him can lead to many evils. Bonifatius tell me, “You walk around…

The Vanished World

Young Nor is not listening. He stares into his phone,  rubbing it with an index finger, the old man notes, the way one might stroke a parrot’s head. Old Nor tips his wicker chair to take advantage of the shade cast by the broad-leaf elephant ear plant that has been next to the doorway for…

New Record

A small blue Ford stood with all its doors open. A little man in a white shirt and sunglasses stood by with crossed arms, smiling as we approached.  We got in. He stomped on the gas, caroming into the flow of traffic with utter disregard. Joe covered his face with his hands and groaned. The…

The Swimmer

Jammy Doggs stepped into sea and waded out, the pull of the waves sweet against his legs. He bent to feel the water between his fingers, test the temperature against the eighty years of sea wisdom he held in his heart. The gentle fog rolled across the waves, cool and lovely. The white sand shone…