TITLE: When Life Begins
GENRE: Science Fiction
Jillian Shore’s awareness reeled between the present and the past. She spread her arms wide, but stopped herself from twirling; instead she closed her eyes, and felt herself, much younger, fingers splayed, spinning in the wind, waiting for the rain to pelt her upturned face, before running inside. There was nothing unusual about the house she visited once a year, except that in some way it still belonged to her.
“Jillian,” her mother’s voice called. It was impossible, of course. Her mother had been dead for years now.
She realized that someone was waiting for her. She looked up at the house, and saw the door wide open.
“I didn’t think you were going to make it,” Carol said. “Usually you come first thing in the morning.” Carol’s hair was a golden mess; the man’s button down shirt she wore was covered in paint. Rain boots, all colours and sizes, a discarded grocery bag, and a ratty red leash, littered the small entranceway.
There was no practical reason Jillian had picked this date to visit her childhood home. It marked no momentous occasion, nor was it the anniversary of her mother’s death. It was an arbitrary day Jillian chose one morning, years ago, to drive by when she was admiring the falls colours that made New England so famous. Her sister thought she was morbid, she couldn’t understand her fascination with the past. She didn’t comprehend that this was Jillian’s way of keeping her memories.