Escape Artists

by David Barrick

That evening, the two brothers finished their asparagus to earn whisper time after lights out. It was a bartering household. The moon rose over their bedroom shutters: a beluga breaching skyward, escaping the sea’s gravity. The brothers traded stories from church halls and grocery store aisles, first heard through silence in adult company. The stories were puzzle pieces implying what was missing. The brothers’ voices were so soft they could be mistaken for rustling mice—a precaution to prevent whisper time’s sudden cut-off. The art was to speak in tiny breaths, as if blowing up balloons very slowly and then loosing them out the window, filling the sky with more beluga moons.

— from Juniper Volume 3, Issue 2