I’m writing a series of novels: the Seeking Scylla series. Some characters dance on the edges of the narratives. Some never make it in. In Beyond Scylla blogs, I share stories and vignettes about these characters.

“Grace, you need to take it down a notch.”

“Down a notch? Do you know how far down the notches I’ve allowed you to drag me? I gave you all the time and notches to fix this, and you didn’t.”

“Wait, Grace… Stop a minute. I can’t… I don’t know how, I need you to…”

“I’m not staying here to fix it for you again, Lee. I’m done.”

“You can’t just leave.”

“Here’s the thing. You’re so oblivious that you didn’t even notice I already left. Weeks ago.”

The mug slips and lands with a thud that echoes through the empty flat. The neglected coffee swims into its perfect puddle, and a single street light dances in the dark liquid. Startled, Lee lifts his head and stares into the darkness from the only piece of furniture left.

Lee’s hand fumbles for the mug. He swears as he lifts his wet fingers, his head heavy, a canyon of words that bounce from rim to rim and never land in the valley.

No one’s coming to save you. You have to save yourself.

“Grace, please,” he whispers. “I can’t do this without you.”

©Pennie Nichols. All Rights Reserved. 2023.