You could say, this is a quintessential issue of Shimmer. If one were looking for an example of all things Shimmer, one might thrust this issue into the light the way Rafiki did Simba. Stories lyrical and haunting; stories dark and bright. These four stories illuminate the darkness with a sliver of light so bright, your eyes might tear.
Only Their Shining Beauty Was Left by Fran Wilde
On her second day studying in the Monteverde, Arminae Ganit stared at damp sky framed by beech leaves and fiddleheads and wished she could photosynthesize. She touched fingertips to the thick loam at her feet. Moist air slicked her cheeks and dampened her t-shirt so her pack’s straps rubbed at the skin beneath. The forest’s shifting clouds dappled Arminae’s hands dark and light. She imagined her fingers exuding roots; her hair, fruit and leaves.
Shadow Boy, by Lora Gray
I am sixteen and sitting on the edge of an empty subway platform when Peter, forever small, reappears. His black eyes are bright, and he smells like licorice and cinnamon. He is wearing purple mittens and a pigeon-feather skirt.
The Invisible Stars, by Ryan Row
He first learned to speak sitting outside their windows at night. A veil of kitchen or living room light above, watching the shadows of suburban rose bushes and apple trees drift in the yard as he listened. Family dinner. A TV. A radio. Two lovers screaming at each other. An old man talking to a brightly colored bird. The words were too soft for his mouth, and his mandibles ached as he whispered a garbled, carapaced version of human speech to himself and to the washed-out sky. In the direction of his lost home.
What Becomes Of the Third-Hearted, by A. Merc Rustad
Her skin smells of crushed pearls, dried salt, silver fish scales woven into unfinished memories. Her eyes are sculpted starlight, holding the sadness of death a million years ago and a million yet to come. When she holds out her hand, I turn and run. The sand has turned to glass and my heels crack the shore in tiny percussions like the breaking of my hearts.