Crimson Reveal #F82C34
We’re huddled over a plastic pregnancy test that’s too small to be this important.
Fuck. It’s a red plus.
Wait. There are extra lines. And other symbols.
Hold on, are those fucking runes?
Held Together #F7998E
The ribbon holds her head on her neck. Then it coils through the blind eyes of her dining companion and further through every restaurant patron, holding each together along their unique faults.
All this would be terrible enough, but the ribbon has begun to fray.
Rosy Cheeks #EBA0A9
This morning, I taught the children that a flamingo’s feathers are stained by the lives it takes.
As they smiled back, I tried not to think about what made their cheeks so rosy red.
Cold Case #F1E7C2
We’re not supposed to be out on our own, not since that girl went missing. But Danny won’t go home until he gets a Mickey Mouse ice cream bar.
I’m hurrying through the truck’s menu, but none of the characters are familiar.
Until I see her. The missing girl.
Turn Signal #DC9725
I blink until the light makes sense: it’s my turn signal, flickering through the haze in front of my SUV.
My last memory is absurdly normal: turning into my son’s elementary school. I look into the backseat. He isn’t there.
Outside, the haze glows softly in every direction.
My slice of pie is unique. The whipped cream has melted onto the plate. The curd was gouged by the pie server.
I need to see those differences, because there are dozens of other pieces on the other tables where I also sit, trying to remember how I keep getting here.
Picked apart #374707
I break the mildew apart between my fingers, revealing flecks of green in its blackness.
The earthy smell is strong, and I wonder whether I’m accidentally inhaling its spores. My skin definitely shouldn’t look like this. But I can’t get out of the tub. I keep picking at it.
Drowned Lime #48ED25
The bartender places the lime beside my salt-rimmed glass.
I tell him I don’t drink tequila. He says no, it’s regret. I ask him if the lime will help, but he’s already gone.
My glass spills over.
After weeks of Post-Its from her roommates, Kieran finally rolled up her sleeves and plunged her hands into the murky dishwater.
When she managed to pull her hand free, the ragged edge of her dish glove matched the ragged flesh underneath.
Cosplay Shock #70E4D3
The cute girl from the con is still in her PVC armor when they get to her hotel room.
Janelle’s giddy, excited. “Who are you cosplaying, anyway,” she asks, eyeing the shock of turquoise hair pouring down the girl’s back.
Its jaw splits wide as it hisses: “Human.”
Faded Velvet #977595
A plume of dust rises as I sink into the chair’s faded velvet.
I cough, trying not to think about decades of old people skin, but my lungs are already full of it. Yet somehow, every cough still brings more in.
“Now,” she sneers. “What did you say you were selling?”
Window Seat #2ED4FC
Our plane breaks through the clouds and I see a sea of white meeting the endless blue.
Whole generations lived without seeing this, and I idly wonder if some moments are so beautiful that they demand to be seen.
And then we break through the clouds again.