Mysteries is something of an experiment for me. It will consist of random, mostly disconnected short stories that come from dreams and impulses. Some of them might inspire longer, more complete stories in the future. Let me know what you think!

We'll Find a Place That's Different

"It's not right, is it? None of it." She wrapped her arms around herself, hugged her body tight.

The sky was pink and orange, slashed with yellow, colors that should have been joyful. Somehow, they made her sad.

She sat perched on the edge of the concrete, knees drawn up and hugged to herself. He knelt beside her, and they sat quietly for a moment, letting the chilly breeze take them.

"I'm sure it wasn't always like this," she said softly, not sure if he was listening. His eyes were so distant. "It can't have been. It was different once. And maybe it still is... somewhere..."

He looked at her finally, and his eyes were young and old. He nodded silently, and she wanted to touch him. But she didn't. She looked back over the barren land, watched a lizard crawl under a rock, watched a crane swoop over a drying stream and snatch up a fish.

She would like to see a different world, something beyond these walls and beyond this time, something more alive.

She looked at him, stole a glance. She thought maybe if she kissed him, her world would change.

The thought was frightening and beautiful, too much for one moment. She stood and brushed off her clothes. The wind tugged at her hair, almost playfully, a whisper of life that had been, that could maybe be again...

"Where are you going?" His voice was hoarse as he looked up at her.

"Somewhere," she answered. "Somewhere else."

She turned to go back inside, where it was dark and warm and safe and dead.

A hand closed around her arm, stronger than she expected. She turned to him with surprise, searching his face for a reason.

"Come with me." His eyes were intense, his voice urgent.

"Come with you? Where?" She was confused, but suddenly, strangely hopeful.

"We'll run away. We'll find a place that's different, a place where we're not the only ones alive."

Leave the city? How could they? It was everything they had ever known.

But it wasn't enough.

She placed her hand over his and nodded, feeling her face light up in an involuntary smile. "Yes. I'll go."

For she would rather die with a soul than live without one.