Daysong Graphics

Early mornings are best, just after dawn when the only creatures awake are the birds. A mist rises from the river, nearly shrouding the sea of leaves rolling across the gorge. I can think then. Think without having to compete with Mama’s chattering or the constant blare of cooking shows.

The breeze curls around me, bringing with it the sweet scent of pine mixed with new growth and decay. Scents I’ve known since childhood. Moving slowly, as if I’m still the gymnast crossing the beam, I walk to the end of the sandstone arch known as Sky Bridge and bend backward. My hair pours to the ground like water over Yahoo Falls, but my hands land on gritty rock. Pointing my toes, I kick off into a back walkover and flip to my feet. A tangle of chirps erupts from the trees.

“Girl, you’re crazy.” From the middle of the arch, Joley peeks over the edge to remind me that we’re a couple of dozen feet above ground. Though I’d love to continue the routine, I settle beside her and let my gaze wander across the canopy shielding the deep ravines of the Red River Gorge.

“That’s probably the last time I’ll be able to do that. After Memorial Day, tourists’ll be crawling all over the place, and the fall semester starts before they clear out.” Which irritates me, since I can’t even hike unmarked trails without running into them.

Joley crosses her legs, tucking her toes beneath her thighs. “That’s true, but it’s stupid to take chances before graduation.”

(Read More)
Habit Forming

“It’s no use, Jacob,” my psychologist said. “I can’t work with you to overcome your habits if you don’t at least try to reform.”

He’d said this before. Usually, it worked. Sufficiently shamed, I would redouble my efforts.

And I’d quit.

At least for a while. Long enough to live a clean life and get the next job under my contract. It was a tedious and arduous process. Why couldn’t I have been born in the nineteenth century when the majority of my vices were fashionable?

Instead of accepting the truth, I berated him. “Then what do I pay you for? You know my contract is coming due. I’ve got to stop smoking, at the very least, or I’ll forfeit the renewal clause.”

He set down his quillstick. “I can’t do it anymore, Jake. The problem is that you love your bad habits. They are your treasures. Your little step outside the bounds of what’s legal, moral, and conventional. I can’t help a man get rid of something he loves.”

I knew he was right. But I also knew I had to clean up my act. At least for a while.

“Come on, Martin.” I called him by his first name only when I pleaded. “There has to be something. I’ve got until next week to get clean. And I have to be clean. You know they’ll run a check after last time.”

(Read More)


Fiction Finder