Used to Be

The three of us — Elena, Gabby, and me — smile on the side of my coffee cup. Used to be, you could do that: Print pictures on coffee cups. Used to be, you could grow coffee, too. Just Gabby and me on the other side of the cup. In the photo, she’s nine and… Continue reading Used to Be

Dramatic Beaver Makes Splash

The winning photo’s caption read, Dramatic Beaver Makes Splash as Re-wilding Efforts Take Hold, but only because the photo editor couldn’t come up with one involving ‘feather in his cap.’ The beaver wasn’t so much dramatic as sticky. Somehow — sap? — a bluebird feather had stuck to its head, and Revelle Jenkins, an amateur photographer and birdwatcher, had… Continue reading Dramatic Beaver Makes Splash

No Time for Caterpillars

“Mom, look!” I point so fast my hand smacks the scented pine tree hanging from her rearview mirror. It’s been there so long I don’t think it has any smell left, but whatever. “What?” She doesn’t look up. She’s on Bumble, which is just weird. I mean, I get it, Dad’s been gone a long… Continue reading No Time for Caterpillars

When Nigel Met Sarita

It wasn’t the amoeba’s fault. The amoeba in question was, in the beginning anyway, an ordinary specimen of Naegleria fowleri—Nigel for short, because Nigel is way less of a mouthful—floating about in warm water and eating bacteria when Sarita came splashing by on her morning swim in Rainbow Lake, which is not in fact made… Continue reading When Nigel Met Sarita

Bald-Faced Lies

It’s funny what you get used to living in Alaska. Take bald eagles, for instance. When somebody from the Lower 48 comes to visit, they about wet their pants every time they see a baldie. The first time my friend Arbolina — that’s not her real name, she’d shoot me if I used her real name — saw one,… Continue reading Bald-Faced Lies

The Only Singleton

He’d had a name once, but nobody ever used it, so by the time he left the rose bush and the field behind, he no longer knew it. He’d been born alone, the only singleton in the colony’s memory. Some said he was cursed, and even those that didn’t go that far grew uncomfortable in… Continue reading The Only Singleton

Rhino the Destroyer

Chris was sitting in the shade of an umbrella on the lido deck of the Norwegian Saphire, sketching the famous arch, the one everybody had to have a selfie with, when some kid he didn’t know walked up to him and said, “A rhino’s running loose in Cabo.” “What?”  The kid was a little older… Continue reading Rhino the Destroyer

If Spiders Thought

The city girl’s name was Nicole. She brought her Honda Civic to a stop at the dusty intersection and wondered which way she should go. Left was south, back toward Denver. Right was north, toward Wyoming. Straight ahead, the Rocky Mountains. All around her, dry grass. Nobody, nothing around. Not even a bird. Just then… Continue reading If Spiders Thought

Getting Smaller Every Day

Fluorescent light gleamed on the steel blades shaking in Ang’s right hand. Thunder sounded somewhere behind her, and the shaking worsened. An old lady pushed her cart around the corner of the aisle, saw Ang, frowned, and backed away, out of sight. “Ang,” I said, “don’t do it.” The scissors wavered in her hand.  “Please.” … Continue reading Getting Smaller Every Day