Our story is like knotholes in soft wood and roots breaking the surface on an otherwise placid spring day.
Our story is a form of silk – soft, delicate, and deeply alive. In a mirror, the silk – like the mind – reveals its dimensions, pose by pose, paddle stroke by paddle stroke, through a river best thought of as water and air.
Our story is the scaffolding in shifting light that requires tender attention to the symmetry of ascent and descent, the liminal weight of an entire story broken by stillness, and rooted, like skin, to the surface of an object with an indestructible soul.
Our story is the intimacy of partitions in which the soul, like the story, is the landscape. Gold clouds circling as birds sense the fire nearby and fly toward water, the pale blue sea, knowing nothing is safe but the harmony of flight ascending through stones and stars.
Our story is scarlet trees in a landscape aflame with sunset; here angels visit in soft tones spread by the wind and speak of chasms and shields – the choices before us – and the ice on trails through forests near hostile cities with something exploding midway.
Our story is the open sea filled with river stones, a pale blue honeycomb under the waves; the joy of the mermaids is palpable, and if you hold a shell to your ear, you can hear the soft heartbeat of every magical being.
Our story is worthy of a narrator, strong and swarthy or lithe and agile. Someone with words like gongs echoing through an empty space now made vibrant with human energy – the spoken images of the forests moving in the wind or canyons carved into figures by rains that, drop by drop, reveal the figures within what once was solid and immobile rock.
Our story is the narrator embracing our history – the saga of a cow moon, a weather report, strange tides approaching even stranger shores, a safe landing into an unsafe rebuilding of dreams, and a silent, intuitive knowing that the world was not made from darkness but from a halo of hidden light still shining through the barbed wire and angels’ wings of existence that is our love(d) story.
Christina Murphy’s stories have appeared in a range of journals and anthologies including A cappella Zoo, PANK, Word Riot, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, and the anthology from ELJ Publications, Turn: Turn: Turn: A Season of Short Stories. Her fiction has been nominated multiple times for a Pushcart Prize and for the Best of the Net anthology and has won the Andre Dubus Award for short fiction from Words & Images magazine.
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[Picture by George Hodan]