The Bannions, from every direction and for as many reasons, pushed things their way, until all targets or causes fit the one corridor of family wishes. The power and might of their numbers, of their attitudes and abilities, made them a most pernicious band of unity tight as closed fists already past the knock-out punch and on for the kill, no matter the added punishment often unneeded.
I was somewhere I had no business being, doing something that I shouldn’t, when I felt a hand on my shoulder.
Stomach is a damn hard taste to forget. Even before the bile claws its way up your throat, you can taste it—hot metal and candy aspirin. Then you can smell it, too. Sharp and noxious, the promise of chewed food and belly acid to come. I hate to even think about it, but memory’s a certain breed of sadist, and it knows what we dread the most.
When four mythological heroes from the Celtic Otherworld travel to modern day Wales in search of a powerful magical text, things are a little different to how they remember.
Darby was born flying, and I was born hating her for it. Our house was just across the river from Darby’s family’s, our backyard and theirs stretching warlike to the banks. Their house was smaller than ours but more forceful; it was three stories tall and white and wide and had grand glass double-doors that looked out toward our back porch. We were born the same year, and our mothers would stand on either bank rubbing their bellies and swelling in the June heat.
I try not to attract attention. I breathe better incognito. On a particular hot Sunday in July I parked about four blocks from Dollarton Beach. I slung my two pairs of binoculars across my neck, and carefully wandered down a wide asphalt path. My mission: to lay low behind some logs and scan across the shoreline, make a few notes. I’d be perceived as a bird watcher. I sat on the sand observing through each one of the binoculars and sucking on a pure cane sugar Kombucha drink. I was rudely interrupted when a lanky, curly haired lifeguard with “Ben Acker” marked on a large name tag on his pants asked me “Where did you get that T shirt?”
It’s written in the lines of her face. The mottled flesh scrawled across her cheeks, the tangle of scar tissue weighing on her eyelid. Battle scars? A robbery gone wrong? In any case, she’s seen some shit. And the story’s not finished.