Your Motherland, Not Your Home

The View From My Window My grandmother, turned towards the television screen, and my grandfather reading “the yellow press,” as he jokingly called it. I often made them uncomfortable with my “Western” opinions. I wore slippers indoors in stiflingly hot weather, got traditional songs stuck in my head, dressed fancy to the theatre, and slept below ten Russian Orthodox icons hung on the wall peering at me. Read more →

The Messenger

by Siyan Ren Sol dries her tears in her sleeves, weeping. Why can’t I be normal like an apple? She asks herself while waiting. Clara, her friend, appears at the door. Rapunzel, two braids on each side of her shoulders, a red and black pyjama, comfortable. By the looks of it she hasn’t been out yet and only heard the sound of the ring because she was feeding the dove in the living room. It’s her new pet. She loves it. I will send a message and wrap rolled paper in its little legs. Did you know they do this? She asks. Where would you send your message? Sol asks, forgetting her tears for a moment. They can fly 1800 kilometers to deliver them, Clara explains, not really answering it. She moves away and Sol walks in. Incredible, Sol says, momentarily distracted by the white plump, immobile like a stuffed animal. But soon she begins again. I have to talk to you, she says, just as she told him. In the movie, the immigrants were arriving in France but the Nazis didn’t let them stay. It is like the refugee crisis all over, she affirms. Read more →

Breathing Lessons

by Alexander Lam They turned a corner, and the hospital came into view. Memories of his father’s illness came rushing back. His mother parked the car and Owen stepped out, legs numb. Parker readjusted his grip on his guitar case and nudged him. Owen turned, and shot his friend a reassuring smile, but it didn’t quite reach him. Read more →