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The World's First Laugh

Long ago when the world was new, a bird lit upon a branch and whistled.

           It was a noise that shattered stillness.

           One by one the creatures of the earth called back until the cacophony of sound rose in such a glorious timbre that the earth began to shake.

            The hills shuddered, the mountains trembled, the valleys swayed.  And when it seemed as though the ground would crack in two, the movement subsided until it was no more than a gentle rumble.

            The creatures looked about them, their eyes darting and deep with panicked fear.

            But the bird knew better.

            She knew it was the world's first laugh.

The Egg

 In a room made of glass that was surrounded by witnesses, an egg stood waiting. And then it cracked.     Naturally, the witnesses formed a conclave, for where there is a group of watchers and no ownership, decisions must be made.     The inside of the egg had no notion of conclaves, and no idea that it could be owned by anyone other than it's own mind. And this, too, was natural.     While the conclave met and planned and argued, the egg broke open and the mind inside flew away, which was, perhaps, the most natural thing of all.     All that was left to the conclave were the broken bits of shell.     And all that was left to the mind was the whole world.

Timothy Flies (or The Peculiar Reasoning of Grownups)

    Timothy was no ordinary boy—in the sense that no child is ever ordinary.   But also, in another sense entirely.   He could fly. He was made aware of his ability one day when he fell out of his crib.   He should have hit the floor.   But he did not.   Instead, Timothy floated.   That is to say, paused in mid-air.   It was then that he launched himself back on top of his tangled sheets and promptly fell asleep.   But, from then on, he knew. There was one other thing that was odd about Timothy.   And it was this: that even at a young age of discovering this gift, he kept it to himself.   Not a soul knew.   Not even his mother. It was his great, secret gift.   And he used it wisely. He flew to get kittens out of trees, and to make other children smile when they were down—no one he knew, of course; and only when there were no adults looking… It was most peculiar, then, when, on a blustery day in the midst of a sudden summer storm, Timothy took flight in full view of his entire

The Perspective of a Burden

 There was once an old woman who sneaked into the forest by moonlight to hide. The days had been growing more frantic, the questions asked of her more frequent, the intensity of those questions high; there had been little choice left her.     It was not as though the demands on her time were anything tangible. Indeed, no one seemed to want her to do anything at all.  All that was asked was of her own well-being, of the sensitivity of her mind, as though if it were asked frequently enough, she would go mad and finally the questioners would have their excuse. For the questioners made her feel her weight, as though she were some great burden to bear until her mind slipped and flew away with the faeries.     It was as clear as a perfect crystal that it was time to flee.     And so she did. To the forest. Where the moonlight danced on the trees, and to look on the wood was an adventure all its own.     Naturally, then, the faeries came and took her away when the night grew its darkest.   

The Woman With Eyes of Fire

Once a young woman went to the market to buy some bread. But the bread seller would not sell to her because he said her eyes shifted like flame, and it would be an ill omen to barter with one so dangerous. Another day, she went to the apothecary for herbs to aid her frazzled mind. Yet, the apothecary refused her gold, for he said he could see her soul through her eyes and it was too fierce. In the same week, the young woman visited the book binder, in hopes of preserving texts long used. The book binder glanced up from his work and shuddered, then waved her away, for he said her eyes were portents too unreasonable for the logic of books.     The young woman hung her head then, and hid her eyes in the days that followed, her body caved and hollowed in fear that others would turn her away for what they saw.     She hung her head so much that her spine grew curved. She took to wearing a cloak to cover her curved spine. And so her days passed, bent and cloaked, and fearful lest someone sho