Sesame Chicken, Please

Jana Burke peered into the fridge. Same old bunch of celery, bag of baby carrots, not enough milk for a bowl of cereal, and leftover chili alongside the year’s worth of condiments that always manages to build up in the shelves on the door.

She blew her bangs across her forehead and rocked back on her heels, still holding the door open. At least I’m fortunate enough to be able to order out, she thought, slamming the poor fridge shut and reaching across the counter for her phone.

“Pizza or Chinese?” she hollered down the hall. No answer. She stomped back to Daniel’s room in her stocking feet and knocked on his door, chuckling a little at the thought that she was old enough to parent a teenager. After a moment of rustling, the door opened inward.

“What?” Daniel asked.

“Pizza or Chinese?” Jana repeated. 7eac64caabfeea155248ab641bace029.jpg

“Oh. Sesame chicken, please. And eggrolls. Thanks.” Daniel turned back to his desk, closing the door as he went.

Jana shook her head and dialed their favorite Chinese restaurant and sat down in her favorite chair as it rang.


A Brighter Tomorrow

Melissa rested her chin on her crossed forearms and stared out the window at the rolling countryside. Summers at her grandfather’s old farmhouse had been a joy when she was younger, but as a teenager, they weren’t nearly as much fun, at least, not at the start. She missed her friends and the old familiar places.

She stood up and closed the window, then turned to pull back the covers and get into the same bed that she’d slept in every summer for as long as she could remember. When she stretched her legs out, her toes encountered an odd square object tucked away at the foot of the bed.

She stretched a little bit further and hooked the top of her foot around whatever it was and slowly dragged it up the bed until she could grasp it with the spread fingers of her waiting hand. It felt like a small paper box, and she brought it up from beneath the covers to have a look at it, as best she could in the dimness of the country summer evening.

It was too dark to see much, so Melissa reached up and snapped on her bedside lamp. She blinked a moment, but her eyes hadn’t spent too long adjusting to the darkness, so in next to no time she was reading the fine print on the box containing one deck of tarot cards.

She brushed her fingertips around the perimeter of the box in wonder, but she was so sleepy after a long day of teenaged moping that she promised herself that she would go through each and every one of the cards first thing tomorrow before tucking them away in the drawer beneath the small lamp.

Her eyelids were heavy as she reached to switch the lamp back off, and she was asleep mere moments after her head hit the pillow, dreaming of cups and swords.

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