Sunset Stories

The sun was slipping toward the buildings that grazed the reddening sky, and Lisa paused to lean on the railing and look across the water. The waves were catching the orange light and glinting. She had to shade her eyes to look at it all. It felt as though her day had been so crammed that it was near to bursting, and even now she struggled to give herself the time to stop to look at the bloody sky.

Her grandmother wanted to see her. That’s where she was walking now, home from work and then on to the little house in Queens. She’d gotten an email; Lisa darling, stop by for a moment tonight, would you? I know you’re very busy and don’t have time for me, but I’d like to see you just for a bit. Love, Grams.

Lisa wasn’t allowed to be rude to her grandmother. Her dad had told her that so many times when she was a kid it was practically a mantra. He’d said, be nice. She doesn’t mean to be like that. You know she loves you. Maya reminded herself of this, but lingered there with the sunlight fading.


Maria had lost her pen. She’d been drawing on the sky, and her lines had been disappearing into the crimson of the sunset sky. She’d reached up just a bit too far, and the cap of the pen had caught on a cloud. Her hand had come down but the pen wasn’t with it.

She could see where she had been drawing, to the right just above the dark skyscraper, but she couldn’t see the pen. She should have put masking tape on it or something. It was the same red as the felt-tip and the ink, so wherever it was, it had faded into the background. It seemed very silly that a marker could be stuck in the sky. It was really very inconvenient. When the sun fell all the way down she probably still wouldn’t be able to see it, because there wouldn’t be enough light to pull the red from the black.

Maria would have to wait until the sun came up again, and the red stuck out against the pale blue. Everyone would know that she’d lost a marker in the sky. How embarrassing.


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