“The Watanabes couldn’t hate the planet, so they blamed their disappointment on each other. Their hasty criticisms decayed into stubborn misunderstandings when Ayuka misheard and couldn’t bring herself to ask him to reiterate — or when Hiroki, knowing he would have to reiterate, forbore to say anything. A devotee of quiet who believed fishes spoke in gestures, Ayuka asked Hiroki to point to things that would indicate his meaning. Hiroki refused because it made him feel foolish.”
I read this story before a panel of creative writers at the 2016 convention of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts. The phenomenal Kellie Wells, Blake Leland, and Sumita Chakraborty also read their work.
“Ayuka Breathes” appears in the January 2017 issue of Five on the Fifth. Ayuka will also be the protagonist of my next novel.