The Weight on Your Shoulder by Liz Xifaras

You are not afraid of spiders.

The one on the bathroom wall has a body as big as your thumbnail; glossy, iridescent. Legs stretching like black wire over white tile.

A bath of steaming clear water waits. Book lies on the side, pages curling in the heat. Mug of tea ready.

You are not afraid but you remove the spider all the same. Fetch a glass from the bedside table, a cardboard coaster. Blue with a silhouette of an orangutan printed on. Souvenir from that trip to the zoo when you held the hand of a love now lost, let yourself dream of returning one day in a wished-for future with your child. Smooth, stubby fingers held in yours. Round eyes staring at the animals. Blink that memory away now. Continue reading “The Weight on Your Shoulder by Liz Xifaras”

The Body Shop by Emily Harrison

Fog hung heavy in the alley that housed Mr. Fenway’s Body Shop. It licked the wet cobbled path, leaving a dull glow around the dimly lit lamps that perched atop the stone. Little of Salter Alley was visible to the naked eye. A blessing maybe, to those who wandered past.

There too, was a definite thickness in the air, a dewy sort of damp. It clung to the bricks and pawed at the assortment of stores that ran parallel to one another. Stores that were distinct in their goods, but alike in their nature. Decrepit, unwanted, flogging items of little worth. Continue reading “The Body Shop by Emily Harrison”