Lisa C Murphy

The Turkish MIrror


     “And now you know what became of your father, ma petite,” says my Maman.

      Maman is parked in her sumptuous armchair by the window, the gray light of Paris buffing color off her blonde hair. She closes thin lips and sucks in a stiff inhale, exquisite in her hoity-toity suffering. I stand over her, a towering six feet, too much of a biffa to ever come across so frail.  Her porcelain skin, same white as mine, looks cold.  I am so disappointed. Of all the things I dreamed my real mum might be, I never imagined such a ghostly aristocrat.

       I’m not in a warm-hearted mood, having just stolen, lied, and done a runner from London with the police on my arse and this effing mirror in my rucksack. No mood to be sweet to this snooty nonstarter of a mum, even if it is the first time I’ve ever laid eyes on her. I yank out the mirror by its handle. It’s swathed in a snippet of silk the color of dead goldfish. Much as I fear that mirror, I love that red orange silk – royal orange in the sunlight, an eerie stain of red in the dark.

      “Right then,” I say, “Dad died. But that doesn’t explain this bit of trouble, does it?” I chuck the mirror in her lap. She jerks away her hands, avoiding what just landed in the folds of her wool dress. The silk slides apart. Painted waves wash up the mirror’s handle and reach for the monster sculpted in mosaic tile on the back. “I want a full account, Maman. You owe me.”


The Wyrmstone

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I, Mimi Jovel, inherited The Wyrmstone. Too magnificent to give away, too deadly to keep. I thought I had enough troubles: my parents dead, two brothers to raise, Child Protective Service on our backs, adult-sized bills to pay . . . Now we’re haunted by an eight hundred year-old sorcerer who has decided to entangle us in a dragon war. Dragons, in case you were wondering, are wily, conniving, nasty creatures.


But there’s hope. My brother Justin is an obsessed Age of Dragons player who makes all of his decisions by rolling twenty-sided dice. My little brother Nicholi will only listen to his stuffed bear. Three kids, a stuffed bear, and some twenty-sided dice; we’ll survive, just you see.

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In My Father's Garden


She explained to me that her favorite worm composter cost forty dollars. She could sell me one. Worms cost twenty-five dollars a pound. According to her, I needed a pound.

Her composters stood outside under the trees near her garden shed. There, she lifted the first tray of one of her bins and began to give a lecture. Every aspect of the bin required an explanation: the right type of rotting vegetables; the perfect soil; the dangerous insects that grubbed in the dirt; the moisture that could drown the worms; the dreadful heat of summer, and the menacing freezes that came with fall. For almost an hour I stood in the brisk breeze and suffered through her monologue on the many trials and tribulations that came with owning a worm bin.

It began to rain and water leaked into my shoes. My fingers were frozen. Still, she had more to say. Finally, I couldn’t stand anymore and interrupted her. Did she have any brochures that I could read? Of course she did! In fact, for only fifteen dollars, she’d sell me an entire book. To save myself from dying of the cold, I bought the book.

Eighty dollars and ten frozen fingers later, I finally took my worm box, book, and pound of worms and went home. Thank heavens I’d escaped! Done is done, I figured. Now I could enjoy my composter in peace. Boy was I mistaken.