The Animals

by Vera Pastore

And the rains stopped, all across the land. Stopped.

The quiet—it hung heavy. It always did. But this time it was so heavy that it was almost visible. Heavy as if each particle of dust in the universe suddenly had been ordered to hold a certain spot mid-air, uniting in a group effort for a particular purpose. Heavy like a stack of unread books unable to be lifted because the glitter between the pages was yet to be sifted out.

Slowly each animal broke through the curtain of quiet and peeped out of its place of refuge, turning first this way and then that, surveying the scene, comparing it to the familiar. They saw that the world—as they knew it—was still there. It was just soaked with the invisible tears of the one above.

And now, stepping out with less trepidation, they ventured back to their paths, because for the moment, all was well. But not being gullible, they knew it would happen again. They were sure of it.

You see, there was a pattern to these rains. But the quiet—the quiet—seemed to be getting worse, and that was something to ponder. For today, though, the running was over, and the sun was back in charge.


Vera Pastore, owner of Word Choreography, writes, edits, and proofreads business materials and books. She counsels writers of all levels on next steps in her free Writing Triage program at local libraries. She writes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, and encourages the use of the Oxford comma.

Life Path

by Inkibitz

My thoughts meander down paths like game trails through the thick green forest boughs. Dark shadows add softness and contrast to dappled meadows and sunlit streams. I search through the mysteries of ideas based on my history of experience.

I push aside the tall grass of unfounded belief and step out boldly onto firm rock cliffs of the faith that I know. In my mind I see, and in my heart feel, what I will find at the end of my wandering ways, but my joy is the journey I take.


Inkibitz is a published poet and short storyist who writes children’s books, and YA Fiction with an occasional nonfiction essay thrown in. Inkibitz enjoys writing that gets to the point and says what it has to say without beating around the bush with a lot of words.