Sisters from Another Mister by Jill Malleck

Cheryl picks me up at the corner of Queen and Duke on Saturdays at three. It just makes sense, she said not long after we met. I’m going right by there anyway. It was my bus stop to Freeport, only now I lean out of the Plexiglas shelter and give a little wave, so the bus doesn’t stop. Today he pulls in to drop someone off. My face is red. It’s stupid how ashamed I feel about that dismissive wave.

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Ooame by J C Weir

It was almost dark.  “Ooame desu ne,” said Yumiko Sakuragawa barely audible, as she gently placed the final two bowls amongst the myriad of others on the small table, and took her place on the tatami mat floor opposite her husband.  He sat with his gaze fixed through the open shoji doors, beyond the polished pine veranda, out across the patchwork of rice fields, colourless now in fading light and heavy rain.  Two weeks ago he would have said, “It will be a good crop.”  The temperature and the humidity were favourable.  But he had become uneasy.  It was near the end of tsuyu, the rainy season, but the old man in his ninety one years, had never lived through a downpour of unceasing weight.  Such rain is not sympathetic to rice saplings.  Since morning stories he had heard when he was young, that the old people told, of a deluge that washed away the rice and the villages, had come to him.  He nodded pensively.  “So desu ne.  Ooame desu.”  Yes.  Heavy rain.

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Flesh of An Unwanted Fish by Tom Sheehan      

Armand Tollbar remembered everything Clara said, on and off the pillow, in the bedroom and out of it. These days that had become a tough assignment for him, for while the memories were rich and repetitive, he now knew, deep down in his body, without a paucity of doubt, that the river was getting polluted. For the two of them there had always been a minor division: she loved the house, he loved the river.

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