Old homes

It was always the same. Dingy orange light filtering through the windows, bent and twisted by the warped glass panes, the haze of cigarette smoke hanging in the air. Last strains of some old song fizzling out on the jukebox.

Egg salad sandwiches at midnight

He was contemplating whether to risk the staff toilet, affectionately called the Toilet of Doom by everyone who had ever had to use it, and so was surprised when the door chime announced the arrival of a customer. Roscoe glanced up, and then stiffened and stared like a deer in headlights, his brain frantically grinding gears as it tried to deal with the fact that Chadwick Smithson had just walked through the door.

Bone orchard

I listen to their breath and sometimes, very faintly, in the middle of the night, if I lie flat on the grass and listen hard with my whole body, I can feel them shifting as they dream of the world beyond their earthen cradle.

Dog days

Cloves and cardamon and fresh grass mixed with damp loam like a symphony as they all clatter to the car - shouting over who gets front, who gets back, youngest pulls second-youngest’s hair, but he gets his seat, as he always does, despite the howling and stamping.

Destiny divined

Hundreds of thousands of feet had wound their way to the Augur’s house over the centuries, deep in the marshes, from peasants to kings to thieves to priests. Everyone, when they turned twelve, went to see the undying Augur, and came back bearing their fate.

Parroted

He was uncertain what lay at the end, but as the jungle swallowed him and the days became hazy and indistinguishable from the nights he found he didn’t much care. He would find the end, or it would find him. The journey was what was important. The summons.