"Daily Painting 6th of June", acrylic on canvas by F.E. Clark
**selected as Editors' Pick for Issue One - listen to it here, recorded audibly by Liz Zimmerman**
Frozen Hearts Never Thaw
by Danny Beusch
The cruel arctic wind ravages everything. Other villages fled but we cling on while it snaps and howls around us. We survive, somehow, although our land is barren and we are hard and bitter.
One night I dreamed of a stranger who burned through the mist and melted a trail through the snow. When I awoke I felt heat on my breath, prickling my skin, blazing inside me. Our son arrived nine months later: a redhead, who lit the sky, warmed the earth and sea. I named him Sol.
Farmers and fishermen prospered. We all feasted; the mood light, warm. ‘A miracle’, said the elder. ‘A God’, said the crone. ‘Our saviour’, said the villagers.
It did not last. Day-by-day - cooling, fading - he changed: hair dulled to brown, eyes of soot, lips tinged glacial blue. No more. I gathered him in a blanket, tightly smothering the dying embers, as I watched the sunset.
But we cling on. We survive. Somehow.
Danny Beusch lives in the UK and tells stories, succinctly. They can be found online and in print. Follow him on twitter @OhDannyBoyShhh
F. E. Clark lives in Scotland. She writes and paints. A Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, her words can be found/are upcoming in: Molotov Cocktail Literary Magazine, Poems for All, Occulum, Moonchild Magazine, Ink In Thirds, Folded Word, Ellipsis Zine, Luna Luna Magazine, The Wild Hunt, Speculative66, and 404 Ink. And in anthologies: Flashdogs Solstice, Calendark, and DeadCades, and Nothing Is As It Was from Retreat West.
Website: www.feclarkart.com | Twitter: @feclarkart