“becomes a junkyard beast” by Julia at her desk

Friday April 26, 2019
6:30am
5 minutes
Loving You Burns Like Shingles
Terri Kirby Erickson

In the swelter of August’s last days, Reid and Elliot bike their two speeds down to the lake.
Sirra and Jamie are already there, waiting.
Sirra is holding a blue bandanna, smudged with grease and soot.
Jamie isn’t looking up, and Reid starts to panic.
Elliot approaches slowly, worried about Reid who doesn’t usually show signs of fear.
Sirra passes the bandanna to Elliot, and there is a collective knowing.
Lusechee is gone.
Jamie start to sob, shoulders heaving, crumbling, heaving.
Sirra puts a hand out but nobody takes it.

“All of my days” by Sasha on her couch


Sunday October 9, 2016
12:26am
5 minutes
All My Days
Alexi Murdoch


Margot isn’t sure when it occurred to her that maybe it would be a good idea to stop going to spin class. She cancelled her gym membership. She de-activated her monthly yoga pass. It was a slippery slope, but in a good way. Margot started going outside. Radical. Revolutionary. Margot bought a seventy dollar bike on Craigslist and put a water bottle holder on it, and a basket on the back. She started biking to work. She walked the grocery store. She realized that she had been spending a kazillion dollars on things she could really do for free! She just needed a good rain coat and some bravery! She just needed to learn the arm signs that indicate if one is turning left or right!

“We hopped on bikes with banana seats” by Julia on her couch


Tuesday August 23, 2016
7:04am
5 minutes
parent.co

It might have been 40 degrees out. It felt like we had already sweat off most of our top skin anyway. The trees were dense with moisture. Heavy like they were holding in all of the rain we hadn’t seen. Jessie and I ate kiwis while we waited for Reid and Lucia to hurry up. Lucia told us we’d hear the owl signal and know we should take off on our bikes to go meet them. Jessie didn’t want to move. She said her thighs were rubbing. We sat beside the shed while we finished eating, kiwi juice dripping down into our shirts. I didn’t want to ask Jessie to do much else. I was glad she finally came with us for once. Usually she’d have an excuse why she couldn’t come. She even used “blow-drying her hair” one time and missed out on one of the best nights of our lives. We spent that summer in the cemetery conjuring spirits and memories of loved ones we had never met.

“Don’t judge” by Julia at her desk


Tuesday September 22, 2015
9:58pm
5 minutes
from a calendar

Halle and I walk hand in hand down to the end of the driveway. Kristina is on her bike and she looks stupid in her pink helmet. Not because she’s wearing a helmet. But because her helmet has tassels like her bike handles do and it just looks like a the kind of bike a circus monkey would ride. Too many ribbons and too many balloons. Or so it seems. Kristina tries to stop her bike but she hasn’t learned that yet. She’s really struggling. She wants to come talk to Halle and me. Kristina finally gets off her bike and lets it rest on the ground. She also hasn’t learned to use her kick stand yet. Her face is round and rosy and the snot bubble she’s blowing never seems to pop.
“Hi Nathan, Hi Halle. What are you doing today? Want to talk about our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ?”
Halle squeezes my hand. She’s 4 and she already knows that this girl is a quack job.

“Heavy duty” by Sasha on her couch


Friday May 2, 2014
11:46pm
5 minutes
from the sponge wrapper

Morgan and Molly ride their bicycles. They got the first weekend in May, every year. That’s what they’ve always done. They used to go with Grandma, but she died last winter. She was one hundred and two. It was her time to go. When they get to the hill, before the left turn, Morgan looks over his shoulder at Molly, struggling with each push of the pedal. He smiles. “You can do it!” He calls. She glares. At the top, they celebrate with Gatorade and high fives. The cemetery is is quiet. A Buick is parked in the lot, beside two hearses and a red pick up. They don’t lock their bikes. They never do. They walk, Molly a bit out of breath, Morgan turning his cellphone to silent, until they arrive at “W”, which is quite a ways. There they are, all of them – twelve Whittakers. “Hey Aunt Olive,” says Molly, wiping leaves from the gravestone. “Michael, what’s up?” Says Morgan. Molly sprinkles wildflower seeds along the whole row of them.