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…and I think of the boy, his curly brown hair—his back to me, the hoodie’s form obscured in dark skyscraper shadows; something flashed, he could be armed and that’s what twenty years of Mordor gets you in the end. It all looks like orcs and axes and traitors. They all said it looked suspicious. Even though they hadn’t seen into the caldera, yet, where even the glint of the bezel could resemble…

the gun. After the Ringwraiths came staff psychologists, chanting you fired your service revolver on the job…no one called it ‘the murder weapon.’

I check my reflection in my phone’s camera for signs of criminal activity. The frown lines form a GPS to the past. If you look long enough, you can see Sara’s homicide, another sorcerer gone bad flown away. In the florescent light, I remember the boy’s hands shaking. When he died his body trembled once, twice, and let go. I put the phone in my pocket and draw my gun.

When I was young the blueness was everywhere—in the sky, in the sea, in my sister Sara’s eyes—but then it started to shrink away from the world. I remember Frodo, retiring to the immortal land because the journey he had taken through the red and blue sirens of Mordor marked him. But Frodo’s cloak was just a hoodie

and when I pull this trigger the sky will open up and pour some of its blueness back into the world





Maria S. Picone has an MFA from Goddard College. As a Korean adoptee in an Italian American family and a New Englander, her obsessions with noodles, seafood, and the ocean are hardly her fault. Her fiction appears in Ligeia Magazine, The Mark Literary Review, and Monday Night Lit.



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