portion of the artwork for Kristina Ten's story

Kristina Ten

Before we begin, please lift your arms over your head, like that, yes, and stretch your fingers as high and wide as you can, good, thank you. You’ll remain this way for the duration of the service. All right.

Welcome to the Church of the Taller, Taller. Here, you can find growth without limits, growth until you reach the blue. Once, long ago, our ancestors were nearly there, but they became complacent. Future generations shrank and shrank, and it was the children of their children’s children, the shortest giants, who founded this church. (Some believe it was the tallest humans; these are our brethren who have strayed.)

Do not step over or reach over your brother, for wherever you do this—a foot, an arm—he will cease to grow.

Should a branch hang over your sister, remove it so that she may have no obstructions to the blue.

If you should step over or reach over someone, you must immediately step or reach backward in the opposite direction.

OK. Now when I say, “May the sky reach down to meet you,” you say, “And may you reach up to meet the sky.”

May the sky reach down to meet you.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 51 | Spring/Summer 2018