Knots


  illustrated upside-down coffee cup

Short story published in Broken Pencil Magazine, Sept 2, 2020

You cock your head at me and ask,

     “Are we too old for fairies?”

     Both your hands clutch a paper coffee cup. Your sweater sleeves are pushed to your elbows, orange and pink stripes bunched up and overlapping.

     “What kind of fairy?” I say. “Because I don’t think the real sort would have you.”

     I watch you over a half-eaten chocolate glaze donut, green sprinkles on top. You frown.

     “The pretend sort, then.” You sip coffee, thinking. The shop smells of sugar and baking donuts, but our pastel-colored booth is not sticky in the least. We are too old to buy a dozen simply because no one can tell us “no,” and yet we linger here, sheltering from the cold, sometimes glancing at the menu and trading wicked grins.

     “The kind we’d make houses for in the knots of trees when we were little,” you say. Your eyes fall through the wide, glass windows, onto the rush of the road. “The kind that were only around when our parents weren’t. You know?”

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