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Image by Connor Jalbert


Imagine a desert, biscuit-coloured and crumbly, with tumbleweeds, dust devils and carrion. The air parched with finely crushed sorghum. Its rough-hewn canyon snaking like a river; but there is no water and there is no snake. In this desolate terrain nothing stirs, nothing breathes. Nothing remains.

Imagine if all you hear is the sound of your own footsteps. There are no birds squawking or flapping, no orgy of gorging raptors, no howls or yips of coyotes, braying of wild dogs. Only a heavy silence.

Imagine if the desert is all you see, for miles and miles. The only return, a pale diminished vanishing point.

Imagine it was not like this yesterday. Yesterday when you had your youth, when you had your wherewithal. Yesterday, when you could have done something.

Karen Schauber’s work appears in sixty-five international literary magazines, journals and anthologies, including Bending Genres, Cabinet of Heed, Cease Cows, Ekphrastic Review, Fiction Southeast, New World Writing, Spelk; and a ‘Best Microfiction’ nomination. The Group of Seven Reimagined: Contemporary Stories Inspired by Historic Canadian Paintings’ (Heritage House, 2019), her first editorial/curatorial flash fiction anthology, achieved ‘Silver’ in The Miramichi Reader‘s ‘Very Best Book Award for Short Fiction”, 2020. Schauber curates Vancouver Flash Fiction – an online resource hub, and Miramichi Flash – a monthly literary column. In her spare time, she is a seasoned family therapist.  


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