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(c) 2014 Sarah Bevan
Lot’s wife turned to salt when she looked back on Sodom. Once, Ellie thought the farm was Sodom, or some other unimaginable place where all that was good and just fell to evil men. John was the devil encased in overalls and farmer charm. Blood streaked overalls; the neighbors thought chicken or pig, never wife, scarred beneath the dress.
Two angels descended last night with ski-masks, their swords pump action. They didn’t come to rescue her, but the rescue of Lot’s wife wasn’t the point. They told her not to look back.
She looked back. She didn’t turn to salt.
Liam Sweeny is an author and disaster relief volunteer from Upstate NY.
Jennifer prayed this was the right farm. They all looked alike. Three hours of walking already and more hours to return home. She had to see Frank, but didn't realize his farm was so distant. She was hungry and already getting tired. Her feet ached. The trip was more arduous and colder than expected, and she was wearing thin flats, a long dress and light sweater. Drawing closer, she recognized Frank's battered pickup truck. Striding to the farm house and removing her sweater to show him his unborn daughter, Jennifer removed her gun from her shoulder bag and rang the bell.
Al Parrott is a retired phys. ed. teacher whose first goal is to have a short story published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.
From a distance, the farm looked perfect. Waving grass glittered in the sunlight. She watched a meadowlark take flight, a silhouette against the sky. The beat of its wings matched the beat of her racing heart. She followed its flight until it reached the trees. “Freedom,” she whispered. That was what she wanted. The wind carried the smell of cows and manure to her nostrils. She looked down to the milking barn and saw her mother and father slogging buckets through the mud. “No turning back,” she said, “I’ve got to go now.” And she turned back toward her car.
Jennifer Beatty lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her husband and three kids.
Halfway down the hill she took her shoes off. The hurt in her heart made the blisters pale in comparison. She sat on a weather-beaten log and stared down at the farm, not really seeing anything. She was too busy reliving their last conversation. It had been so brief, confusing and unexpected she wondered whether she'd been hallucinating. 1500 miles lay between this terrible pain and home where she could hide until the ache faded to numbness. Getting here had seemed so full of anticipation, but now, she was faced with reality. The magic was gone, and so was he.
John R. Clark is a Maine librarian, book reviewer and author of YA fiction and short crime stories.
Belinda paused to stare at the distant farm buildings, a refuge she hoped. The ad requested a nanny to take care of three young children. His wife a victim of cancer, he couldn’t run the farm and raise the kids alone.
The sounds of laughter put a smile on Belinda’s face. The smell of dormant fields and the bleats of sheep greeted her from afar. It seemed the perfect place to hide, to escape her own father. She inhaled a deep breath, let it out, and continued toward her new home, the gun in her purse adding to her confidence.
Jim is a father who never required the services of a nanny—thank goodness. Read more of his stories at http://jpharrington.blogspot.com/
She’d been working on her G.E.D. in prison before they let her out. It was
just a way to pass the time. That’s how she’d learned about Zeno’s
Paradox, though, the one that said you could never get to your destination
because how could you cross the infinitude of points that came before it?
Later mathematicians came up with their own solutions to the problem. But
as she finally crossed that last short distance to the house where she’d
killed her stepfather (though pleading self-defense), Janna hoped that
somehow the old Greek philosopher had been right about it all along.
Seana Graham lives in Santa Cruz, California, where she writes blogs,
book reviews and, just occasionally, a short story or two.