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Waking up in the morning is the finest joy. As I walk into the fresh cut meadow behind my house, I suddenly remember when I took him in, when I raised him as my own. He was a cute, innocent cub with a delicate brown shine of fur, wandering the forest without an owner. Most people  only adore dogs. I was always interested in something a little more dangerous. Mr. B, I call him. A well-suited name, for that is the most generous indeed. The sun shines over his wooden house, putting a smile on my face as a warm welcome. I admire the yellow paint that shines in the sunlight. Mr B. picked that color, the color of honey. I carry a metal bucket of fish that I caught earlier this morning. He sure loves his fish as it clangs in the bucket as I walk. As I approach…

Story by Arielle Chesire The same dream occurs in my head. A man with a deep voice is somewhere in the darkest part of my mind. He echoes the same three words in the distance: “ire, close, tree.” Opening my eyes, the surprise of it wasn’t unexpected. The same dream has occurred in my mind since I was a child. It started when I was ten. Now, I’m 23. Thirteen years of the same dream, not knowing its meaning or when it would ever end. If it ever ends, that is. I get out of bed unfazed and ready for my classes. I pass by a tree every day that fascinates me in the most curious way. Its bark shines in the light as it stands tall on the clean-cut ground. Out of all the trees around campus, this one acts like a brave soldier in a battlefield. Not crumbling…

Blankets of snow rest on the mountainside. Branches turned bare as the tree’s limbs withered away from the cool breeze. The wolves that guarded the mountain path lost their ways to survive the north as they ran out of food to eat, or shelter to keep warm. A new era beganas the sun rose above the mountains. Their leader was taken in as a child when her parents died. She was raised as one of their own, became the leader of the wolf pack and its mountains. Outsiders were forbidden on their grounds. It was a law that was created in memory of the foul hunter that shot her parents. That killed the only people she ever loved. One day, her silver wolves chased a man in furred robes down a woodsy path. He panted as his shoes scuffed the snow beneath him. His eyes searched for a place to…

Clouds made up of a pungent aroma tickle the girl’s nose as they float through the air. She plops down next to me and looks around the empty room, a juxtaposition to the housewarming party outside to kick off the school semester. The clouds drift through chatter and a faint melody, the lyrics difficult to comprehend over the thumping bass emanating from the floor. Lovers, friends, and strangers burrow in the corner as if it were only them on this Friday night. “Shoutout to Paul,” one of the girls sitting on the ground declares. Her sweetheart goes to work on the newly acquired cluster of green. Exchanges of commodities move like conversation. Paul, both cold and elusive, can give you what you need for a little change. The wall facing the only source of light, which protrudes over a wall of insulation, projects images created by shadows of partygoers. The…

I was only four-years-old when I first met the rug of black sun. My parents came across it somehow and decided to take it home, thinking that it would fill our living room with a sense of intercontinental culture. It was a simple rug, one with a striped pattern in both horizontal and vertical directions. The horizontal stripes were colored a dark brown, and the vertical stripes were simply white. Triangles, squares, and circles found themselves littered across the rug, each of varying size and shades of grey. Such an accessory would definitely make one’s family glow with culture, the type of culture that let others know that the owners of such a rug had traveled throughout the world and picked out that specific rug because of its rarity and worth. Truth be told, my parents just found the old rug lying somewhere in a bodega, collecting dust and providing…

Heart wakes me. I can feel it bleeding like a sea into some barren place far from me — far, far away from the ash tree. Heart thumps, and I feel like a post, heart beating and beating me into rough, trodden soil. Worms crawl against burned, aching skin. Wind and sound barely reach me, feeling like they have come from far, far away from the ash tree. The pain starts at heart and races, spreading from my center, radiating with heat. I would moan but mouth is dirt as well. I don’t want to move. Movement is life and I am dead – I know this as ravens know the sky and wolves know the forest. I know where I belong. Yet impulses run through fingers – I still have fingers, some but not all. There is new pain that awakens when I try to move two middle fingers…

A voice cries out in the wilderness, moaning like a doleful ghost up the hilltop from down the slope. My eyes get blocked by clouds of dust, curtains of earth glinting. Bright, white. Heat. There is no smell here but dry earth. About a hundred yards down the slope, I can see it. A purple cloth tied around the bole, flapping low and rapid, forlorn. The curtains go back and forth. It shows between the curtains, sheeting across the slope. Like an upside down smile, showing and not showing, shuttered between bands of it. The voice cries out again. The ghost, the ghost. I start walking down the slope toward it. For a little while there is no sound and no feeling but the specks of dust gathering between my back and shirt. When I’m about halfway down, I see clouds start to mass up gray and primordial. Then the…