Tag: Anxiety

The Blazer Committee by Cecilia Kennedy

In the dining cart of the slow-moving train, I eat the meal set before me at the “Best of the Best” conference. It’s a white-china-linen-napkin-breaded-lemon-chicken affair. I’m seated with three other people I’ve never met before—all of them “Best of the Best” conference participants. We’ve submitted resumes and won the chance to be here.

“Why is this train moving so slowly?” I ask the woman seated across from me.

The Smell of Seashells by Vera Hadzic

An old friend of mine could sense storms by smell. When I asked, she said they smell like water. I must have smelled water a million times, but never like this, she claimed. When a storm’s coming, water smells like soil and metal, as though the earth is cut open and the storm is its blood, pouring out into the world.

It had been months since I’d spoken to her.

“Smells like a storm,” I said one day over break. Nobody listened to me – they had more important mysteries to solve. I hadn’t really been talking to them, anyway. The fog made the sun a pink and hazy fingertip, smearing its oils over the sky. Conversation carried on as though I hadn’t said anything:

Come Away From the Window by Thomas Morgan

The mirror in the bathroom is foggy with condensation. It’s like this because he’s just stepped out of the shower. He puts a towel around his waist, then he breaks off a square of toilet paper and wipes the mirror clean. He stands over the sink, puts the plug into the plughole and fills it up with warm water. Then he starts rubbing some shaving gel onto his face with his fingers. You see, he showers first, then he shaves. Some people might think this is odd – and maybe it is – but it’s how he’s always done it. For one thing, it gives his body a chance to dry on its own. Plus, he’s heard it’s supposed to be better for your skin, doing it this way.

He starts with the right side of his face, beginning just below his sideburns. From there, he moves onto his cheek and his chin and then his neck. He’s about halfway through his shave when he hears his wife scream.