Wilma Illya

Recent Stories

Published: Sep 25, 2020

Younger Days

When she was younger, she stayed out all hours with Gretchen. They were best of friends for nearly their entire lives because they grew up in a couple of two flats next door to each other. On a bus to the L and downtown they went, often dancing with sailors who trained on Lake Michigan for World War II.

Working all day in factories making war supplies, she was tired before going out. A quick catnap and a good meal before getting ready was all she needed. A shower and a fix of her hair, before the brand new dress. This is how she met her husband, whom she later divorced but not before having five children. He was in the navy during the war, but only at the tail end, as he was younger than she.

Published: Sep 09, 2020

Passing Corners

She stood on the corner, pressed against the brick building. Her white hair billowing in the breeze, saggy skin and worried eyes showed her age. The look of her face suggested she had to hold onto the building to know which was hers, the way back to her front door. She bit her lip with her gums, short a few teeth this early in the morning. The sun glinted off passing windshields. Cars were a constant stream on the their way to work, carrying all the varied people to their paychecks.

"Gretchen," she'd say sometimes to passing people.

They never answered. Only stared with quizzical faces.

This mad her smile. She was amused to see confusion because that was her mind these days. When she was young, there were events and memories and people. Now she was old and what there was ... was a string of days that all seemed to be the same.

"Gretchen," she said.

"Hello," said a woman from a window above.