I return home, return to the same streets and homes, to the same people. Yet everything has moved on in my absence; perhaps it was foolish to imagine even one thing would remain the same. My friends were beyond excited to embrace me and chatter, catching up like we never missed a beat. Afterwards it was all too obvious that the gaping hole I left on departure had long since healed and scarred up. I'm no longer part of the natural flow of their lives, everyone's out of kilter and there is an awkwardness I never expected.


It was strange, being here again after so long. Despite how long I'd been away, I still remembered everything about the place; the blue hydrangeas planted in the front yard, the soft tinkling of the wind chimes that reminded me of summer afternoons. The blue paint had faded since I had last seen it, but I still recognized it. It looked like the color of the sky before a bad storm.
I walked up to the door, dragging my luggage behind me. I raised my hand to knock, but I stopped. I took a deep breath, and forced myself to hit the door. I heard the "ding-dong" sound coming from inside, and someone running to get the door.
It opened slowly, and my mother's warm, loving face was revealed. I embraced her in a tight hug, suddenly unsure why I hadn't returned in so long.

By unfinishedsentenc, June 23, 2014.

By the time she got home, night had fallen and enveloped the city in a blanket of darkness. She scurried down the path towards her house, her shoes slapping against the stone steps that led to her front door.

Fallen leaves littered the walkway, bathing it in dark red and orange, and she stepped on them with a satisfying crunch. The porch light was on, and the familiar yellow glow made the house feel warm and inviting. A brand new flower pot to the right of the door was filled with pink and yellow chrysanthemums.

The metal of the doorknob was cool against her palm and she twisted it with ease, entering the well-lit living room.

By jenntheninja, June 28, 2014.

"So, why are we here?" Hideo asked. He was stepping lightly, not used to the weaker gravity of Jun's homeworld. "How did you get used to stronger gravity? This is weak. Really weak. I could be like Supernat."

"Practice." Jun replied. "This is Blue City. Do you like it?" Hideo thought for a minute, then replied.

"It's different." he said. "The architecture is interesting." Another short pause. "Is that its real name?" Neon signs of the Yunmin characters blazed from stores and hotels alike. The buildings themselves rose from the ground in squares, each stretching two or three stories high. Some higher. Trees came up from seemingly random locations in the street, making any kind of vehicular transportation hazardous and unlikely.

"No. You wouldn't pronounce it correctly."

"So how am I supposed to tell people where I went?"

"Relax. All the Cygnats call it Blue City."

"They're all staring at me. I feel like a midget. Why did we have to come here?"

"Asphodel might be where the black market's central hub is, but they don't manufacture anything. Xinju-Emesh makes things, but the gravity's very strong and it isn't good for a lot of products. Baota is where the implants are coming in from."

"So you're some sort of expert." Jun laughed nervously and nodded.

"I'm from here. I went to school here. What did you expect?"

"From Blue City?"

"A more rural area, but from this country on this planet? Yes. It feels like home." Jun walked further, then covertly pointed at an indigo-skinned elder. "That's our man. Don't blow this."

"I won't."

By dino, March 20, 2015.

The acorn in my pocket is the best travelled oak nut in history. It has sat on a cafe table in Paris; it has been dried by the hot sun in Mumbai; it has been cast many colours by the lights of Tokyo and been chilled by a Russian winter. Now I take it, hold the tip to the sky like a rocket ready to launch, watching it reflect the daylight one more time. Then I crouch low to the soil of my homeland and bury the little seed with the wings of a prayer - perhaps in time she shall grow.

Romance / General

Chantelle, never think for a moment that returning home isn't the holy grail of my life, that being here with you isn't the one true thing I seek. But being in this place after everything that's happened is so hard. I want to be the person you recall, innocent and sweet, yet I struggle. I want to return that beautiful smile of yours with something to warm your soul instead of drain you. So, my love, let's live one day at a time and not worry so much about the things we can't control. If I'm distant, if I need space, if I can't echo your divine emotions please forgive me. I want to erase the negative effects of all this suffering and heal as if it never happened; I want to do that for us.


Returning home I feel like a tortoise retracting into her shell. The troubles of the world evaporating. To anyone else this is a house like all the others exactly like it on this street, but to me it is sanctuary, it is cocoon, it is rest.


I walk down the muddy track toward home and my heart both sinks and rises all at once. I sink because I used to know every rise and dip in the trail, yet no longer. I haven't forgotten, it is the path that has changed under years of footfalls and weathering. I rise to imagine what awaits me at the end, a place of more love and warmth than I've had these countless days that have gone so fast.