Short Story Published in Room Magazine

The eviction notice came in the middle of a long winter, on one of those afternoons when M just couldn’t warm up, no matter how many sweaters and blankets she piled on her shoulders.

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“Vancouver to Edmonton, 2017” – Erika Thorkelson

I wrote this piece of flash fiction about love in troubled times in response to work by artist Chelsea Rushton

wordandcolour

Chelsea Rushton_The Heart's PrayerWe’re driving back to the prairies for your niece’s wedding. Hottest day of the year and the truck’s AC is broken. The mountains are blue ghosts under a gauzy sky. On the radio, the news is bad. Riots in Venezuela, squabbling world leaders, white supremacists. Everyone wants more than they have, even if they already have everything. The air tastes like wildfires and cow manure.

My horoscope says to stay positive, but I don’t buy it. You say you have a headache and my brain sidles into worst-case scenarios—a stroke, a tumour, viral meningitis. To cheer you up, I sing show tunes, but I only know the chorus to “Good Morning” from Singin’ in the Rain.

I’m supposed to be navigating, but I never speak up in time and you never listen. I tell you to take the next exit, but you keep going straight. We have to cross…

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“The Final Transmission,” by Erika Thorkelson

Thanks so much to Leah Mol for inviting me to be a part of this inspiring project again!

wordandcolour

james-gilleard_1The final transmission from Station Alpha came from General Watkins himself, who had gone to inspect the new device just two days before. Right up until the moment of the explosion, there had been hope that the device, a single man’s dream realized through unprecedented international cooperation, was the solution everyone had been hoping for.

There was no picture in the final transmission. Cloaked in static, Watkins’ voice was thick, moaning even. “The Earth’s heart is heavy.” He sighed. “So much heavier than we could even have imagined…” Then the whole facility evaporated.

Marcella Watkins, the General’s wife and special envoy to the United Nations, knew the voice well. It was the one he used when he wanted her to move closer, toward his side of the bed. It was the voice he used for quiet, reflective thoughts he could only express near sleep.

“Something is coming,” Marcella Watkins told…

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