Short Stories

Domains of Life

A story, told in shifting perspectives, about a father, his daughter, and a teacher – all with very different ideas surrounding the fragility, and different domains, of life.

Domains of Life has been published in issue 12 of The Incubator Journal. Read the piece in its entirety here.

Below is a short excerpt:

Even with her eyes closed, the sunlight hits Kristin’s face and she sees splotchy, bright dots dance inside her head. It makes her think of science class, of the day where they got to use the microscopes in the lab to look at water and earthworms, then at the leaves of a four leaf clover. The shifting shapes, the network of veins, the colors. A whole world unseen suddenly seen up close.

Kristin focuses on the sound of tires crunching on dirt. Underneath, she hears her father’s steady breathing and the jingling of car keys.

Today, Mr. Davis will cover what will be on the science test on Friday. The classifications of all living things, from Kingdom to Species. The three domains of life: Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya. 4 The genus and species names of plants and animals. That’s why she has to go—to take notes so she knows what to study. Otherwise, she would have taken her dad up on his offer. Blow off school for today, stay home, watch re-runs of The Twilight Zone and Married with Children. But she is too interested in the way the world works and the natural order of things. She thinks of plants growing out of damp soil, of stars bursting to life only to dim and die out after thousands—millions—of years. There will never be enough time to see it all, to understand everything, but she plans on trying.



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