(CW: mentions death of family member)
By Mark Yin
a pair of newlyweds attach willow branches to their front door
a woman and her sister walk by on their way to the cemetery
their husbands fly swallow-shaped kites with their daughters
a boy runs in the opposite direction, the scent of burning joss in his nostrils
his father sweeps his grandmother’s tomb
a man nearby kowtows
his wife remembers the kindness of her father-in-law
a family close their eyes and observe a silence before dining
the youngest copies them solemnly
a lotus lantern drifts downstream
(CW: alludes to death of children)
By Sarah Peters
I wasn’t supposed to be outside at sunrise. But I had peeked my eyes through the
weatherboard cracks of our farmhouse and saw what they had kept from me. The
webs made last night were being knitted together, the spiders creating tiny faces. I
saw them. The little ghosts, children from before, rising from the silk and playing in
the paddocks until the sun touched the final branches of the trees. When day arrived
I watched them, their souls drifted into the clouds, and we began life again.
They’re More Afraid of You
By Tharidi Walimunige
Scattered papers by the front door. “Crushing student debts to repel the youths.”
Watered gardens out back. “Sweat of athletes to put off the nerdy-slash-
Photos pinned to each doorframe. “Pictures of cellulite to frighten the hashtag-
“That should do it. Now I can read in pea—“
“I know you’re here. Come on out,” taunted an intruder.
“Oh no.” She made to run bu—
“Ha! I knew they were real! So…”
He’d gotten past her wards? This couldn’t be happening. Oh, he was going to do
unspeakable things to her! She just knew—
“…get a selfie?”
(CW: death, freezing)esme
The carnage, the cold
By Michelle La
Since she was little, Leida Rein dreamt to reach Everest’s peak.
Sunrise at Camp 4, standing at the summit’s final climb, her dream was about to come true.
However, when dawn breaks, the light reveals in front of her a human carcass in the snow, unmovable and fixed to the safety line of the only path to the top.
Leida’s first hurdle: step over the frozen body.
They say the path to success is paved with ambition. Though, on top of the world at 8,848 meters high, it was dead bodies and ghosts of dreams, forever frozen.