Road

Road

The sun is setting and the amber colored light of a mid-November sky baths my face with its almost non-existing heat. The wind runs briskly through the trees, shaking its autumn tinted leaves.  The streets are deserted, everyone’s inside sitting in front of a crackling fire and warming up with mugs of hot herbal tea. Winter’s coming and, by the way the weather’s changing, I’m certain it’s going to be a violent one –cruel and full of wrath.

     I walk through narrow alleys   ̶ all brick buildings and flower-clad windowsills ̶  until I’m in the outskirts of town, the dimly lit houses far behind. The road is so familiar, the cracked pavement, the faded yellow stripes at the side, the tall dry grasslands embracing it, its every little detail buried deep in my mind, coming up only when evoked. This road is like a second home to me, in childhood I would ride my bike all the way to town just to get a small paper bag of lemon drops at Mrs. Spring’s candy store and now, at 28, I drag my feet along this cold humid floor at the crack of dawn to get to the public elementary school at the heart of town, where I’m a second grade science teacher –so much for MIT. This pavement was once fed by a red bicycle’s tires and now it lives off of my converse soles.

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Jamie McEntee’s Life as an Innocent Bystander

Jamie McEntee’s Life as an Innocent Bystander

5 a.m. on a Monday morning in mid-January, Jamie wakes up to a gray sky, dim streetlights showing him his way around. Groggily, he puts on a pair of faded dark blue jeans and a long-sleeved black t-shirt with the A/X logo on the upper left side. On his way to the bathroom he trips over some books scattered all over the floor, some of the titles read “The American Short Story”, “All Quiet on The Western Front”, “Great Victorian Railway Journeys”, “Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You: A Guide to the Universe”, “Le Rose nere di Firenze”, “An Unsocial Socialist”, and “The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language”. He picks up an old volume of Joyce’s Ulysses and throws it on the unmade bed, he stares at it absentmindedly, sighs and walks out of the room.   Looking at his reflection in the mirror he combs his dark chestnut hair with his fingers, pushing it aside to keep it away from his sleepy evergreen eyes. He splashes cold water on his face and dries his hands on his jeans, walking briskly towards the kitchen, forgetting to turn the bathroom lights off.

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To Emma

Emma

Emma danced around the plaza, her long skirt twirling like waves of emerald and turquoise. Golden chains circling her wrists and ankles dangling and clanking cheerfully as she swiftly skipped at the sound of clapping hands and a flute.  Her long dark waves brushed her sun-kissed bare shoulders, the wind rushing through her hair.

     “Emma!” She heard someone calling her name as the streets were drowned by the loud thumping of galloping horses.  The guards were coming. It wasn’t the first time this had happened, but unfortunately it could only mean one thing: they had to run, and run fast. Emma felt a hand close around her left wrist, pulling her hard. She didn’t need to turn around to know that it was Traian, taking her some place safe. She had known him all her life, they were destined to be together, and she trusted him blindly, so Emma followed him deep into the forest.

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