Small Minutes is the story of a girl who would rather face death than have lunch with her mother.
Small Minutes found a home at Bewildering Stories in 2009. This longish short story was then selected for the "best of" anthology of the magazine at the end of that year. Later, the story was slightly rewritten and published through Amazon.excerpt
In the small minutes of night, I drive past the local graveyard going from my work to my home. I pass the places where the Dead are laid and I hold my breath. The Recently Dead in their wood boxes, the Long Dead awaiting their Next Lives, the Young Dead who cry for a Life Not Lived. And the Lost Souls of the Living.
"You have to hold your breath when you pass a graveyard," my Grandmother used to say. "Or else you'll inhale a spirit and they'll have your life. They'll leave you to wander the graveyard in their stead."
Grandma said it, so I believe it, and as I drive past I hold my breath. I am not willing to give up my body to some wandering soul.
I let my breath go in a puff of exhale, look at the halos that come off the street lights and traffic signals. When I was little I thought the halos were ghosts attracted to humanity like bugs attracted to candle flames. Ghosts losing themselves into the red and yellow, the green and white lights that burn them away like moths.
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