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    New Sci-Fi Story in Mithila Review

    Check out my new story in Mithila Review’s special global Hopepunk issue of science fiction (and fantasy) devoted to positive and powerful character-driven stories that imagine an open and inclusive tech-empowered democratic future for all people, species and countries on Earth. Harefoot Express – Think Globally, Travel Locally. A story that takes place in Mohkínstsis, (present day Calgary), and sometime in the late 21st Century. This tale transports us to a future that still holds hope for human existence, including more inclusive and democratic forms of governing, as well as new strategies for the long process of restoring the earth’s natural ecosystems and diminishing the human footprint. What will tourism…

  • Fiction,  Stories,  Stories - S&L

    The Scent of a Lie

      We never carried ill intentions towards Camila Penca. We simply prayed for our village’s old peace to be restored and, thank God, He answered our prayers. Camila was born into a well-bred family in our respectable village nestled on the tusk-sharp escarpment of Hell’s Mouth Bay. A village still standing with pride and resilience after centuries of Atlantic rage. Camila spent childhood in her own world. She climbed up and down the escarpment, collecting gull feathers, splashing in the tide pools, plucking at the sea urchins, ‘she loves me, she loves me not,’ then, with the first tides of puberty, ‘he loves me, he loves me not.’ Some say…

  • Fiction,  Stories,  Stories - S&L

    Roses for the Dead

      Padre Lucas found rest under an olive tree. He pressed his handkerchief to the halo of white hair around his skull, attempting to suppress the beaded sweat drenching his face. He leaned against the olive trunk, contemplating the green quilt covering the valley floor, tracing the corn patches and grape fields stitched together by a thread of stone hedges. The sinuous River Caima, unusually brilliant under the sun, forced him to squint. He shielded his face. The river, the earth’s open artery, crossed the heart of the valley, delivering life and fertility to the fields. Intricate veins burst from the main artery, channelling precious water to remote places along…

  • Fiction,  Stories,  Stories - S&L

    Vera

      Vera rested, curled in the shade of the womb, meditating on the journey ahead, inch by inch building strength and filling with readiness; readiness, invisible as air that inflates lungs and lends might to voice, invisible as wind that sculpts landscapes and lends shape to the world. Vera rested until the sting of the syringe ejected her out of her dormant state. She sprang forward, initiating the contractions that flushed her towards the sliver of light and into the blur of expectant faces. Vera darted into the world wearing a premature coat of long black hairs which prompted her brother to scream in delight on first seeing her, “A…

  • Fiction,  Stories,  Stories - S&L

    A Millstone, Always a Millstone

    The blessed water trickled upon the infant’s sleep, pronouncing him Maria das Dores.  His cry of betrayal echoed in the serene sanctuary, pleading upwards to the gothic columns, where it ricocheted from the stone ears of the Saints, deaf from centuries of parishioners’ petitions. Padre Lucas proceeded with the baptismal ceremony, his austere voice disregarding Maria das Dores’ supplications. “I shall remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh. I shall place my spirit in you, and make you keep my laws and sincerely respect my observances.” Maria das Dores, for consolation, moulded his tiny body closer in his mother’s arms, just as…

  • Fiction,  Stories,  Stories - S&L

    Birthing Stones

      Along cornfields, past woods, across creeks, Francisco led the villagers to the birthing stones. Large boulders, christened by him as the mothers, covered the crest of the ridge on the rocky landscape of Serra da Senhora da Freita. The Sunday excitement was so high that Mass was prayed on the trail while the rosary of people following Francisco trekked beneath dawn’s first rays. The villagers could have been his goats, but for the prayers echoing against the rising escarpment. Prayers far louder than the tinkle of livestock bells. Francisco had been criss-crossing the range since he was a child. First, accompanying his cousins and the herds of sheep, later,…

  • Fiction,  Stories,  Stories - S&L

    The Visible Horizon

      Olive and cork trees will dot the landscape. We will not fan wind into this image. Instead, we will ignite a blazing sun, tinting the landscape crimson, blurring the horizon lines in the fashion of southern memories. The stunted yellow grass will rest still. We will prompt a raven to shriek and burst the silence. We will place three little shepherds on their backs under a holm oak, name them Lúcia, Jacinta and Francisco. For the sake of pastoral as well as literary coherence, let us surround them with a flock of sheep. The sheep are secondary to the story but may become a minor recurrent symbolic theme. We…

  • Fiction,  Stories,  Stories - S&L

    Palms

    Tomás leaned against the muddy wall of the trench furiously whittling a knotted tree branch. He paused, controlled his impatience, not wishing to carve the wrong groove. The knuckles of his hand were white, his fingers numb from the relentless work, the iced air. He unwrapped his frozen fingers from the wood and warmed his hands under his armpits before firing random shots into the night. He waited for the enemy sentinel to dutifully respond. The shots echoed over the hill. Tomás sighed. One more hour of silence would now settle over the trenches. Tomás sealed a rolled cigarette with his tongue and lit the smoke under his coat. As…