Tangle by Miriam H. Harrison

“Why did you leave it?” 

She considered his question in silence as they gazed into the night sky. Why sounded so direct, yet its answers never were. They wove about her in a tangle of self-doubt, regret, and tender hope. Most of her reasons for anything were invisible even to her, but they wrapped about her wrists, her ankles, tugging her along in their jerky marionette’s dance. Those reasons that gathered fastest on her tongue tasted stale, dry, empty of any true insight. 

Why would she leave? Perhaps that could be answered well enough. How could she leave? That never would be. 

She looked again to the star, tiny in the sky, glimmering with the light of home. She thought again of the once-green planet, faded to grey, and felt the familiar guilt of survival, of escape. 

“I left,” she said at last, “because there was nothing left to stay for.” 

Published in Issue #9 

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