Anthrow Circus

MicroStories: Confinement

PHOTOGRAPH BY JC JOHNSON & STORY BY KAMI L. RICE

A tiny fictional tale inspired by a magically miniaturized photo of a real-life place.


The wind and the birds whisper the news to me, the rumors from life out beyond the maze. I may look imprisoned, but don’t worry too much about me. I get around, as they say. And I’m not even dependent on that Internet thing I hear tell of. Which is good, because those cables and wires can’t stretch to me here inside my stony labyrinth. I’m just a tempting decoy. I look reachable, but I’m not. No paths lead to this home. I am the dead-end. Which is why my windows look a little soulless and my makeup has worn off. But don’t be fooled, I’m actually a warm soul who loves the world that lives beyond my rocky keepers.

This isolated existence has a way of bringing out the poetry in me, I think. Whatever weather happens along, I witness the beauty of its every mood—the gray that offers calm and cozy solace, the sunny days that sparkle like the circus has come to town, the angry storms that remind me of the mystery of passion. Sometimes my birds drop off gifts of wondrous life-filled seeds, beastly bugs, or stout twigs transported from who knows where, generously connecting me to the far-off places their wings give them access to. Sometimes the breeze bequeaths warm salty air to pamper my face or wafts of decadent human food concoctions that I’d love to eat if I had, you know, a digestive system.

The big world out there is such an active, ever-moving, ever-changing place. I may not be able to physically move around in it—and I’m okay with that—but all the little connections that come my way deepen my love for its peaks and valleys. You can’t tell it by looking at me, but I am so content with my little lot in life and the way I get to live in this grand, gorgeous world.

A Inishmore, Ireland MicroStory


Author profile
JC Johnson

JC Johnson, Anthrow Circus's Creative Director, spends most of her time as a photography and arts instructor in Nashville, Tennessee. She is often overwhelmed with wanderlust, photographs internationally, and has a passion for travel and study abroad as both an artist and instructor. Her photographic work makes associations to childhood as well as to the nostalgic and the whimsical. Common themes in her photography include European architecture and history, fashion, travel, toys, and miniatures.

Author profile
Kami L. Rice

Kami Rice, Anthrow Circus’s editor, plies her insatiable curiosity from a base in southern France and from perches in coffeehouses, cafés, and friends' homes the world over. As a freelance journalist, she has reported for the Washington Post, The Telegraph, The Tennessean, Nashville Arts Magazine, and NewsMavens, among many others. Her more creative work has appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, The High Calling, and Washington Institute's Missio. Her French to English translation has been published by Éditions Beaux-Arts de Paris. She also edits manuscripts and articles for a variety of clients and loves learning about the lives of regular, real people wherever she finds herself.

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