ECHO • by Michelle Klein

She went to Radio Shack, nymphly garments flapping in the wind, garnering stares from the other customers who asked her if she were in a play or if she ‘was one of those free love people’. They hoped for the latter, and certainly Echo had been free with her love, hadn’t she, giving it away like penny candy to the lowest bidder.

She went to Radio Shack and sprinkled a handful of old Greek gold on the counter, cracking the glass, startling the clerk. “Can I help you?” he asked.

“Can I help you?” she responded, then frowned. Old habits die hard, ancient habits die harder.

“Do you need a new cell phone?” he asked, “a set of speakers? Some RCA jacks? A headset? A radio in the shape of Curious George?”

Restraining her words–his words, the bounce and reply in the canyon of her heart, she shook her head, causing her dark ringlets to sway like breeze-touched reeds.

She walked, floating step by step in her leather sandals and snow-covered toes; she rounded the counter corner and pointed.

“Oh, you want a voice recorder?”

“You want a voice recorder!” she responded excitedly, inflection altering the question to a statement.

“We don’t take gold,” said the clerk… but his manager straightened him out.

Out in the world, educated by the instruction manual, batteries included, Echo carefully unwrapped her device.


“Testing,” she said to it.

rewind, play.

“Testing,” it said to her.


“You are Echo,” she said to it.

rewind, play.

“You are Echo,” it said to her.

As she stood there on the frozen sidewalk, dressed for a summer in the Grecian hills, a parka-clad man brushed by her with thoughtless urgency, bumping her shoulder.

“Excuse me!” she said angrily.

“I’m sorry,” he said.

A native of Philadelphia, PA, Michelle Klein brings the flavor of its ethnic neighborhoods and tree-lined streets to her fanciful tales. Her written work includes “The Secret of Gardons”, swashbuckling serial fiction, and “His Mother’s Son”, a pirate fantasy story published in the anthology Black Sails. She has recently joined the Talisman Studios family and is creating characters for Gamescapes story cards. She currently resides in the treacherous swamps of Delaware, guarded day and night by her five-year-old son, Le Petit Pirate.

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