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K.Z. Morano



K.Z. Morano Merits

16 most esteemed4 top drabble5 top drabblist

Turn Around

Every day, the sky is a cauldron churning with hell’s wrath.

Every night, the stars watch my back like a constellation of vengeful eyes.

A voice hisses through the trees. “Turn around.'

I don’t.

The ligneous limbs reach for me.

“Turn around.' The voice mimics my wife’s.

I gaze ahead, not knowing who or what’s behind me…

“Turn around, daddy.'

I stop.

I’ve forgotten what she looked like… why we were so ashamed of her… why we felt the need to bury her ugliness in these woods.

I’ve been walking for a long time.

Maybe it’s time to turn around…

The Price of Youth

I was a rotting fruit… fattening flies… waiting to be harvested by death.

I stared at the mirror as the maggots of old age consumed me. Skin, sinew, skeleton, soul…

Then the peddler came, with his potion and persuasive tongue.

It seemed like a fair price at the time.

After all, what need have I for toes…

Or posterior teeth…

Or ovaries…

They’re easily concealed.

Three wealthy husbands later, he returned.

“Fear not, Madame,' he chitchatted as he severed my leg. “Long skirts are fashionable these days.'

I opened my mouth to scream… and silence exploded within the tongueless cavity.

The Baobab

Whisper your troubles to the Baobab.

The tree can keep secrets, her mother had said before she died.

Putain de sorcière. The other kids teased her mercilessly. They said her mother was a witch and a whore.

They threw stones at Fleurette and she would cry.

She’d carve a hollow in that tree, share her secret and cover it with mud.

The tree was her only friend… the keeper of her skeletons.

As the wood does not produce growth rings, radiocarbon dating today revealed it to be thousands of years old.

The human bones inside, at least a hundred years.


My earliest memory was that of my father disappearing into the silver fog.

I cried out his name… first word I ever spoke… but he just kept walking.

Then his replacement came.

A silent semi-man…

He’d lock the doors and mother’s screams would splinter the air…They were of unexplainable pleasure… and pain.

“Hithh thill your father…' mother said as her teeth clattered onto the floor.

That was history.

Then the mist called me…

When I return, I hope my wife would remember what I told her.

To aim straight for the head… and to never look into my eyes...

The Immigrants

The ships burned cigarette holes into the blanket of blue satin sky.

The people gazed skyward, displaying digits tattooed into their hyper-extended necks.

The numbers meant that they’ve been chosen, that they’ve killed to earn their limited tickets to salvation.

They’ve trimmed the population down to half for the chance to dwell in the new world created by superior species.

The chosen’s bodies lifted into the air. The earth spun like a giant baggage carousel.

In every corner, screams pierced the air in innumerable shades of intensity, as each extraterrestrial immigrant scanned the digits and claimed their designated flesh suits.

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Words and Whispers

He rarely left that desk.

For years, he ensorcelled the public with haunting stories spawned from his imagination yet refused to bask in the brilliance of his fame.

Some dismissed it as cheap tactic, speculating that there was no single mysterious author but a group of ghost writers.

Fans camped outside his fortress. The media met only with agents of glib tongues and swollen pockets.

They said he answered to disembodied whispers.

His last words were jumbled letters carved into the ancient desk, engraved into emaciated flesh…

Indecipherable, except for the words: “Free us' penned shakily in sick, diluted blood.


Maura was four when she said the darndest thing.

“You’re so much nicer than my old mommy. She tried to eat me.'

She was my baby. Years of trying and finally, god gave her to me.

It got worse when she refused to go to school, crying, kicking and screaming “I don’t want you to die!'

One day, we were buying groceries. The ground trembled and saltwater seeped in from every corner ‘til it hid my knees.

Maura looked at me sadly, “It’s alright, mommy.'

I watched, cold, immobilized, as she shed her skin and let the waves take her.

If Wishes Came True

Curdled clouds came… hovering, descending…

ingesting everything in their way.

The world was painted in black, white and gray.

I opened my mouth and out poured a soundless scream

as if we existed in a silent film.

Then people started floating…

Their bodies bloating,

Fat limbs flailing,

Dancing in an eerie pantomime…

Intent on leaving me behind.

I cried after the corpse balloons as they flew towards the ashen sky,

gazing down at me with pupilless eyes.

Their decaying mouths opened and closed in an inaudible song.

Then I remembered my last birthday wish…

For everyone to leave me alone.