If you’ve been hanging around these parts for any amount of time, you know what I’m about: reading; writing; exploring the world around me in light of the faith I carry. I dig good music. I read the poets I like. I share what I can, when I can, for the sake of my readers–you. I love every minute of it.
In the past months, I’ve curated a new space near and dear to my heart. It’s a space where I can lay down the bones of new poetry, stretch into longer form pieces (short stories and such), and share the work of some of my friends. It’s a small community, tight nit and committed, and I’m truly grateful for those who’ve already joined. They are my Patrons.
(Thanks, Darby, Mary, Beth, Linda, Erin, Joseph, Peggy, Ron, Leslie, Lisa, Dan, Erika, Claude, Janet, Dorothy, Ronald, William, Karoletha, Nigel, Adam, Diane, Cynda, Sari, Elaine, Diana, Adam, Todd, Jessica, Chloe, Scott, Tina, Tracy, Beth, Mike, Micah, Julie, Karen, Joyce, Christina, Shawn, Andi, Danette, and Steve. Whew…)
This month, a story I wrote for my Patreon community was picked up by Fathom Magazine. It’s one of my favorite pieces of the year, a thing I’m considering stretching into a novella. Today, I’m posting an excerpt of it here. If you enjoy it, and if you’d like early access to more work like this, consider joining my Patreon community (if you do, there are some great rewards). I think you’ll enjoy it.
Now, enjoy my latest piece, a Patreon piece published in Fathom, “The World’s Last Night.”
The World’s Last Night.
Part 1: The Ballerina
The world’s last night came as a black surprise with its low groan, its fiery canisters, its torch-bearing ants marching. It came ribbonless, boxless, a series of presents carried in the bellies of airplanes. It came and unwrapped itself.
Poppy lived in the building tension before the world’s last night, the years then months then days then hours then minutes that tremored like an old man’s hand. Slight as she was, she felt this tremor though she couldn’t name it. How do you name an inkling, an intuition?
Patron, her father, was one of the seven governors of Urdun, an unimportant man with an important title. He was the manager of the Waterworks, the plant at the mouth of the river that bore the town’s name. The Chancellor had once called Patron an honorable man at the annual Convocation, though even at twelve, Poppy knew these were the simple platitudes given to ordinary men at Convocation or funerals. That was the day the Chancellor pinned Patron with an unshiny medal, a bland brass star, named him a governor, and gave him the task of overseeing the purification of the waters piped into the city. The people at Convocation clapped automatically before making their way back to their brick buildings, their businesses of necessity not choice.
Patron—not his birth name, but the name everyone called him, even Poppy—spoke to others only on rare occasions, and then only when necessary. The girl once asked why he was so often statue-silent. He saved all his words for Poppy, he’d said, which made her blush and beam. She knew this to be true; Patron was a man of his word if anything. So, in the evenings, after supper and a bit of reading, he’d make his way to Poppy’s bedside, tuck her in, and spill all those saved words. With them, he’d spin stories of the Ballerina.
Each night the story began the same. The Ballerina was a figurine, Patron said…
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