“I worry I’ve offended her, or that she was not as eager for contact as I initially believed. Am I more desperate for friendship than a disembodied spirit?
If I write on the window again tonight, will I deepen her silence? If I refrain from writing, will I cut the last thread of our connection?”
A Young Girl Doubts the Tooth Fairy & Her Father
Susan Eames, the sour redhead at school, told Lucy the tooth fairy didn’t exist.
That alone was reason enough for Lucy to keep believing. Everything Susan Eames said was stupid or malicious.
But doubt slowly grew, and with it came the fear of losing much more. If the fairy wasn’t real, what of Santa and the Bunny? What of her dead mother’s angel watching over her at night?
Lucy couldn’t ask her father—not directly as a challenge—and she didn’t have siblings who could offer reassurance.
A week after her sixth birthday, Lucy lost her lower-left lateral incisor. It was the first tooth she’d lost since Susan Eames’ claim.
She showed her father over dinner. He put his steak knife down, scraped forward in his chair, and angled her face to better see the gap. His hand was thick and warm, encompassing her chin, and Lucy felt the tension in her jawbone’s hinges.
He grinned and showed his teeth, every one of them adult.
“You’re really growing up,” he said with satisfaction.
“Will the fairy come tonight?”
“Of course he will. Be ready.”
“Where does he keep the teeth?”
“He gives them back to God.”
“Why does God need teeth?”
An Old Woman Befriends a Weathervane
By any law, Mrs. Cotter was legally blind. Her mind, too, had blurred.
When she found her fallen weathervane on the lawn, she thought it was a real bird. The copper duck had broken free in a gale, tumbled down the shingled roof, and landed on its stomach. Its wings were spread. Its feathers were a dull, corroded green. It looked at Mrs. Cotter when she walked out back to hang her dripping laundry.
“Hello!” she said, surprised to find a duck on her lawn. “That’s a two-dollar bill you have.”
The duck remained still. I’ve startled it, she thought.
Mrs. Cotter pulled a fresh, white sheet out of the basket and clipped it up to dry. She put out all her laundry, running the heavy line as far as it would go. Pillowcases flapped. One of her husband’s shirts inflated in the breeze, full and empty all at once. The duck’s copper head started warming in the sun.
“You must be hungry,” Mrs. Cotter said.
She went inside and grabbed a loaf of bread. It was her last loaf. She’d have to do without until her check arrived on Friday, but she rarely had guests and she was grateful for the company. The duck needed help and she was glad to make the sacrifice. She crumbled up the bread and tossed it on the lawn.
New microfiction from The Equinox Society, in which a boy shuts his eyes against a daylight threat.
No one else in school used the library before homeroom. Even the librarian wasn’t yet there. It was a good place to hide and read before class—the only place and time he didn’t feel threatened.
This time of morning, the library windows flooded the room with sun, and Martin’s carrel in the back was warmly lit. The creature in the aisle wasn’t instantly apparent. It was more of an impression—a light within the light, indicating something like a man-sized insect with mantis arms, bulbous eyes, and predatory focus…
Along with writing a new novel, I hope to write 2-3 sinister flash-fiction stories at The Equinox Society site every week.
I am excited and intimidated by this plan. Some of those stories are bound to be poor. The best will eventually be gathered into a short eBook with original illustrations from an artist friend. Have mercy on the worst.
Please follow along and let me know when you like something.
Here is a newsletter of the strange, THE EQUINOX SOCIETY REPORT, because the web is infinite and email is not.
But an email newsletter is not enough. You cannot smell email. You cannot crumple it into your pocket. An email cannot provide the frisson, the shuddersome intimacy, of a handwritten envelope from a stranger who licked that very envelope to seal it with his or her self.
And so, dear strangers: early subscribers to THE EQUINOX SOCIETY REPORT may request a welcome envelope, in the corporeal mail, containing a button, a sticker, and a handwritten note. Limited quantities, of course, because infinity is fearsome.