The Maker of Days

The Maker of Days

© Anna Reith. All rights reserved.


When I wake, there is this filthy smell in the air. It is everywhere. It seeps around me like fog: thick, enveloping, constricting. I cannot breathe in without it filling my lungs, cannot breathe out without tasting it on my tongue. For a moment, I panic, and with the panic comes nausea. My stomach rebels against the rankness, yet the nausea itself is familiar enough to jog my memory, and at once I begin to relax. Continue reading

Welcome to the Neighborhood

Welcome to the Neighborhood

© Anna Reith. All rights reserved.


There was a party going on when they arrived. Any other night, Tina would have been pleased by the fact. It meant the neighborhood wasn’t as uptight as the last place they’d lived, where the simple jubilant shout of a child riding past on a bicycle had lacy curtains twitching and old ladies’ lips pursed in lemon-sucking moues of disapproval. It had been impossible to do anything there without someone passing comment. Continue reading

The Cuckoo Child

The Cuckoo Child

© Anna Reith. All rights reserved. 


She thought, as she smoothed out the sheet—its pale softness blanketing a landscape of hills, ridges and troughs like fresh-fallen snow—that she heard a bird call. A cuckoo. Not the first of the year, but did that really matter? That some things exist at all is more important than their timing and, in her experience, time didn’t matter that much in any case. Continue reading