Glenda Bailey-Mershon is the founder of Janes' Stories Press Foundation and one of the editors of Bridges and Border (the anthology that we're all coming together to celebrate on Sunday April 14th at 2pm at Volta Coffee.) She's a poet, fiction writer, and an advocate for the rights of her Romani people. I don't think we'll get to hear her read at the event, so here's an excerpt from her short story "Space Walk."
At night, Reina played among the stars.
She rose from her pillow, gliding up and up, one arm outstretched, as the Earth spun into a small ball below. Inevitably, she bumped into a speeding comet, pulled herself up and perched on it, as on a black velvet throne, surveying the planets rolling away like glass marbles into the field of space. When she tired of the views passing before her, she skipped onto other heavenly objects — asteroids, moons big and small, unidentified bits of space junk of unknown origin — until she sighted the phenomena she most loved: giant, spinning galaxies, great milky spills of stars across the horizon-less void.
Her days unfurled in stark contrast to her nights. She awoke in her bed to rise and dress in stained shirts and shorts, took the bus to where she crawled on her knees across someone else’s kitchen floor, sodden cloth in hand, crunchy cereal and cracker crumbs prickling her fleshy limbs. Under her absentminded gaze, load after load of soiled clothes turned spotless.
Then she ran home for her nightly adventures. For slow leaps through universes rushing like amusement park rides, one into another. In some of those universes she was a child again. Her father blew dandelion fluff with great gusts of his stubbly cheeks, as Reina leapt to catch it. In others, she was someone she had not yet been: a woman with an explorer’s audacious smile, diving through blazing wormholes, stardust billowing around her like sheets on a line.
So many Reinas, so many ways to travel.
Excerpted from Space Walk by Glenda Bailey-Mershon