Riley is Boss

            Riley looked up the flight of stairs and said, “I can climb those.”             But her mom said, “Riley, no, you could fall! You’re too young!”             But up Riley climbed, until she got to the top. Then she looked down and said, “I can climb back down.”             And down she went.            …

Benny Hill is Not in the Reboot; Or, How I Joined the Self-Preservation Society, and Determined that Short Titles are Daft

            The first time I saw snow, I walked into a February version of Montreal in a t-shirt. When I saw what was happening with my breath, I remember looking at my parents, thinking that they were going to accuse me of smoking – and right in front of them. It took a while for…

Lords of the Pepper Coast

                “If you’re going to throw up, do it in the corner. There’s a bucket over there.”                 Ashanti puts hands on her hips. “Aunt Kandie, you say that because you don’t think I can hold it in!”                 “Sorry child. It’s the ship swaying. Don’t you think it’s getting worse?”                 “Of course it’s…

A Gift for Marie

            Sasha is a name that is hard to pronounce, thinks Marie, but there is no need to say names when you are splashing paint on snow and swirling it together to make wonderful patterns. Paint soaks through snow. Sasha upturns a can of yellow and Marie pats her on the cheek with a spot…

It’s My Job, Edith

            The corner store is raided. I am stealing candy bars by the handful, licorice by the roll. The clerk offers a plastic bag. “No thanks,” I say to her.             Layne gave me a twenty to, in her words, “Get her through the next round of liquid food, and maybe to have some normal-looking…