FarFetchedFables No 120 Rachel Swirsky

“Broken Clouds” by Rachel Swirsky

(Originally published in When the Villain Comes Home.)

Alex walked home through light rain that was almost soundless as it silvered the sidewalk. The whole world seemed colorless: overcast sky, grey drizzle, endless cement.

The empty, grasping ache in her abdomen gnawed at her, not just because of the pain but because of the frisson of loss that accompanied it. She was like a glass with the water poured out, a vacant vessel.

Would it ever stop? Did anyone ever recover from having the magic torn out of their flesh?

Her house came into view as she turned the corner, its dilapidated single story dwarfed by the apartment buildings on either side. It always seemed to be cowering, as if the neighboring giants might decide at any moment to crush it into oblivion. Its faded wood siding was the same grayed-out blue as the rainy sky. Battered shutters held tight against wind and water.

Rain had swollen the doorframe. Alex grunted as she put her weight into tugging it...

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