The Centilogue

Short Fiction by Christopher Peterson

Month: September, 2013

Consoler

He came into her room at night and stroked her hair as she gasped in the darkness. He told her the story of how, as a boy, he would awaken to the sounds of creaking doors and branches scratching against windows and whispered voices throughout the house, of how he awoke from a sound sleep every night at the same time, alone and afraid. He said how despair perched at the foot of his bed, the despair that comes without sleep and knew only him. At this he sighed, told her to shut her eyes, and turned out the light.

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Instar

She perched quietly in the neglected maple behind the house, the raised voices of her bickering parents echoing out of the open kitchen window and ringing in her ears just before washing out in the static buzz of cicadas infesting the neighborhood yards in the late summer dusk. Her small, tanned arms wrapped under her bruised knees, tucking her back against the rough bark of the trunk as she rocked herself to the cacophonic chorus winding through the leaves, staring at the crackled molted shells that still clung so desperately to the short and meaningless lives they so briefly inhabited.