Cooperation and coexistence appear at the end of this delightful fantasy, even if only for a brief moment. SY
The last of the sunlight shafted through the water, twining through the green kelp and transforming its tips into diaphanous siren hands. Devon was mesmerised by it momentarily, and then checked the regulator and her oxygen readings. Sunset dives were tricky and more than one diver had been lost in these underwater forests as day turned to dusk, then night.
A flash, a slivering gleam far below caught Devon’s eye—she hadn’t imagined it earlier. It flickered through the fronds, a mysterious beacon in the watery gloaming. Her diving partner, Christine, was observing sea otters near the top of the kelp, close enough for Devon to feel safe to dive just a little lower.
There. With each pulse, the light outlined a gate made of glass and faded gold. Above Devon, Christine motioned for her to come to the surface. She shook her head in response, pointed below. At that distance, in these waters, she shouldn’t be able to see it so clearly and in such detail.
Unbelievable, she thought, checking her oxygen again. But it was there and behind it, a city of molten glass, rising through the green depths in spires and turrets and ever-changing gables. Mist swirled and eddied in the glass buildings and—impossibly—through the streets and alleyways between them. It glimmered, shifted, reformed, a ghostly song made into faery palaces twisting in the tide. Read the rest of this entry
Spring had stretched the daylight hours and dried the damp-weather rot in my hands by the time the old woman, Emmeline, began visiting the orange grove. By then, I knew enough to see she wasn’t well. I had been placed in the grove to scare away the mynahs pecking incessantly at the fruit. At first, I couldn’t remember being made, or recall the hands that sewed my body and my clothes. Who was it that stuffed me full so I plumped out like a real man?
I was much more than an ordinary scarecrow, though, beyond all the rags and lopsided limbs. It wasn’t straw or old newspaper inside me. The tokens that shape me are the memories of others. Dried lavender, tickets stubs from concerts and train journeys, remnants of wedding veils, locks of hair from mourning rings. Even a tiny bird’s nest brought home by a child for his ailing mother sitting in the centre of my chest. Carefully stowed cogs from music boxes and wind-up toys served as my ballast.
I’m the only memory-keeper there is.
It’s the old letters—some only fragments, some pages and pages long—that made me who I am, words flowing through me akin to blood. I was their guardian and the tales coursing through me were my teachers. At the close of each day, I was more than I had been the day before.