I woke up to the sound of angry gulls and the glitter of uneven sunlight dancing against the pink roof.
A duck hurried across a road, looking affronted or embarrassed. Starlings were rude to each other and to no one.
At first I thought it meant there is no escape from the spiral of life’s endless quest for entertainment.
The air was big above her but the ground was close, and when she tried to find the way back,
she couldn’t distinguish one family from the next, each on a dusty plaid blanket, identical unreadable faces turned toward the sky.
Summertime meant heat and boredom, a blanket of stagnant damp. Dead mussels lined the shore, rotting in the sun, and the seagulls pecked and cawed, white-winged sociopaths, scavenging.
I walked through one of the old castle courtyards, looking for the right stairs to climb, a safe place to drink the allotted wine, no more no less, and wait the whole thing out. The pink of the sagging sun was a bright, brilliant knife blade, flashing into black then back then black again.
⭐️ Berlin Writing Prize Shortlist
The Ojibwa tribe native to America’s Great Lakes tells of Mishe Mokwa, a mother bear who lived with her two cubs on land that’s now Wisconsin. One day, the bears’ forest caught fire: a raging blaze that drove them to land’s edge, where woods meet water. There, they had no choice but to swim for the other side.
⭐️ WINNER OF THE RED LOBSTER PRIZE