Newsprint

by E.M. Killaley Lottie found the leather-bound volume under a heavy box and behind a bookcase in her aunt’s basement. To get to it, she had to wriggle between the shelf and the wall, push her shoulder under the side of the box, and wrench the book out from beneath. After she'd balanced the edge … Continue reading Newsprint

The Change

by E.M. Killaley   The rodent stared at her mother, her dark eyes glassy and wide. ‘Don’t stare, Abigail.’ She sniffed loudly in response, shaking back the long quills at her shoulders as she turned away. ‘I’m almost finished. There’s no need to take that tone.’ Mother’s hands and arms were covered with pink welts, … Continue reading The Change

Kids

by E.M. Killaley   ‘See the kid, see the kid.’ The white and black beak clicked clicked at Annie, the parrot’s pale eyes darting between her hands, searching for a treat. ‘See the kid,’ it spoke again. ‘I’m not rewarding you for that,’ she told him, and she transferred him from his perch to her … Continue reading Kids

Exit

by E.M. Killaley     The two brothers stared across the table at one another. ‘Are you sure? Are you certain — because you can’t change your mind once you’ve made this choice.’ The younger shook his head, looking at his hands. He hated how he always did that when he had to say something … Continue reading Exit

Beak

by E.M. Killaley ‘IT’S ALL VERY WELL HAVING A BIG BEAK, BUT YOU’VE STILL GOT TO KNOW HOW TO USE IT.’ – DAVID ATTENBOROUGH, ‘AFRICA: CAPE’    The bow scrapes a line across the sandy riverbed as we haul the new vessel from the shore. The shipbuilder warned against adding so much metal to the … Continue reading Beak

Broth

by E.M. Killaley   In years past, she would have added chunks of chicken, large-diced carrots and egg noodles, but now she slices the vegetables thin. They float on the surface of the broth like tiny wooden rafts, navigating through bubbles of oil when she stirs the pot. From the living room she hears her … Continue reading Broth