Volume II, Issue III Autumn 2003



Martha Everhart Braniff hails from Houston, where she writes fiction, poetry and essays. Her short story, "Resurrection," published in HAPPY literary journal, was nominated for the 2002 Pushcart Prize. Her suspense novel, "Beds of Broken Glass," was a finalist for the Bellwether Prize.

Our examples are like seeds on a windy day, they spread far and wide.
Nigerian Proverb

Time stops as you watch specks fall from the firestorm. You say debris, yes, it is debris, until your intuition shouts. The dreaded dots across the TV screen are pieces of human kind-not whole, but scattered, whipped like seeds on a windy day.

You wonder if their arms unite, as they never did before, to meet death's free fall, or do they seek another way of escape? Does a corporate man reach to hold the hand of a mail boy, taking notice of his bright and eager eyes?

And do all hands, rough and smooth, clasp each other in a human chain before abysmal roar from below causes them to choke. Gasp. Inhale Armageddon. Each link struggles with the epic decision to place one foot upon a ledge and fly.

You imagine hurled chairs smashing through plate glass and hold your breath when sunlight's many colored prisms catch the wounds imposed upon a cobalt sky. Your soul absorbs those diamond shards of flesh plunging to the open jaws of obliteration.

Now, the place of burial beckons you to stand guard over holy ground, and you listen to their voices climb, gentle as spring's new tendrils.


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