Robin Travis

Recent Stories

Published: Nov 04, 2020

Bird on the Sidewalk

There was a bird on the sidewalk on our way home. It did not move when we approached. I nearly stepped on it before I saw it. Upon closer inspection, it looked like it was shivering.

"Is that a thing? Can birds shiver?" I asked my friend.

"Where did it come from?" she asked.

"I guess it must have fallen," I said.

"Is it hurt?"

"Maybe it's dazed. It shouldn't let us get so close."

It did let us get close. I was not entirely sure if it was looking at us at all.

Published: Sep 14, 2020


Robin was nearly forty now, and a line had started to emerge at the corner of her mouth. One that would not go away. She was tired. She was sick of the hot summers and the cold winters. She was over sunsets and full moons and runs at the lakeside. Robin was ready for the next thing, whatever that was, to sweep over her life and change everything. The trouble was that it was very unlikely it would happen to her. She was going to have to put in some effort and make it happen herself. Dread was what she felt at the idea of having to put forth another round of energy. She was really showing her age psychologically, and this was worse than physically if she knew anything about anything at all.

Published: Sep 13, 2020

Evening on the Balcony

Cicadas buzzed, their grinding screech flooding the evening, as the sun went down. The inflammation of sound would fade soon after the light. Robin sat on the balcony, next to a trim fire flickering from the fire table. She shivered slightly when the wind blew. It was brisk but that made her feel alive. Lately, she felt alone and was not sleeping. Paranoia was seeping into the edges of her mind, causing her to wonder who was her friend, who was telling the truth, and what was it all for. She curled a strand of hair around her finger and sipped at her gin and tonic. Her last boyfriend, Martin, had loved the drink. Eventually she gave in and tried it out of desperation. He was right, and that bothered her, because she wanted him to be wrong so badly. She blamed herself for the downward spiral of their relationship even though he had been seeing his ex-wife for months on the side. Or was she the side; it was undetermined.

Published: Sep 02, 2020

As Her Hands Shook, a Dream

Her hands shook as she poured the coffee, steaming, into a cracked mug. A dribble of the dark brown liquid ran down the outside of the carafe onto the counter, looking like a tiny pond, a deep and mysterious pool. Robin wondered if there would be fish, frogs, turtles, or even snakes or possibly alligators. These things were kept in zoos, as pets, and roamed wildly on the Earth.

Her mind wandered to the screech of tires, the wind through her hair, the stiff ground as she landed. There were faces, blurred faces, sirens in the distance. The sky too bright, the faces too dark as she lay waiting. Distance memories awoke with her in the morning, stole her thoughts and commanded her nerves with an unsettling vibration. Waves, swells, rocking of a boat on an ocean. The counter coffee could not be like an ocean, of that she was sure.

First thing in the morning her hands shook; it had been happening she couldn't remember since when. But once she got through the pouring of the coffee, the mental centering around the puddle, a calm washed over her and she was still.