by C.L. Sidell
We abandoned Will at camp—packed our belongings whilst he sweated hallucinations. The risk of contracting fever was too great.
Three days later, we were shocked to find him waiting for us at the station.
“Jake,” he said with a nod. “Lyle.”
From atop the passenger car, a gigantic snow-white bird released a sonorous cry, an ant-like trail of smoke escaping its beak.
The vapour invaded my nostrils, turned my legs to jelly. Lyle hacked up blood.
“You reap what you sow,” Will declared, boarding the train.
And the creature, emitting a series of caws, flapped its wings and disappeared.
C. L. Sidell is a queer, neurodivergent writer who moderates Pause for Poetry (est. 2012) and Wordsmiths (est. 2015) and also reviews books for the Florida Library Youth Program. Her work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in 34 Orchard, 805 Lit, Dread Machine, opia, Quarantine Quanta, Spark, and others.