Issue 2 Issue 2 Fiction


By Claudia N. Lundahl

A small puddle of pink light appeared on the floor in Emilia’s bedroom. She drew a breath and swallowed hard, pushing morning phlegm to the back of her throat, rubbed her eyes and focused again on the light. It glistened a bit, and was cloudy but not totally opaque. Diaphanous. She could not ascertain from where the light was emanating. 

Swinging her legs over the side of her bed, she walked over and cautiously waved her hand in front of it. She thought she felt a slight tingle in her fingertips but nothing else changed. The light did not transfer to her skin, it did not illuminate her at all, nor did she cast a shadow upon it. 

Abandoning the luminous aberration, she peered into her wardrobe, ran her fingers over the fabric of her dresses, blouses, sweaters, and slacks. She pulled out every item of black clothing she owned. After a moment of quiet contemplation, she chose a black silk dress, slipped it over her head, then rolled a pair of sheer black tights up over her legs. In the bathroom, she splashed some cold water on her face, ran a brush through her hair and scurried down the stairs. 

It was cold outside. She wrapped her arms around herself, bracing against the stiff wind that blew particles of frozen vapor, not quite snow, into her face. Bits of the atmosphere swirled around her, clinging to the fibers of her felt coat and then dissolved as quickly as they settled. She shuffled toward the waiting gauntlet of heavily-made up relatives in ill-fitting black attire.

In the funeral parlor, she spent an hour or so drifting silently through the crowd, trying to remember the names of people she had not seen in years, not since she was a small child, before sneaking away for a cigarette. She exited the funeral home and turned the corner and faced the highway. The weather had committed to snow, covering the city in white scabs. She leaned against the brick wall next to a stack of overturned wooden pallets and listened to the frantic hum of cars. 

She thought about the spot of light on her bedroom floor. The way it had seemed to have nothing to do with her but also felt like an extension of her. It occurred to her then that it was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. She took a final drag and then flicked the butt over the guardrail. She watched it float down toward the gray strip of freeway below until it was devoured in the flurry of falling snow. There were things that she would miss about being among the living, but she was grateful this funeral would be her last.

Claudia N. Lundahl is a writer and artist from New York. You can find out more about her by visiting her website at