erin ahnfeldt

Listening to Life

Listening at Death’s Door

Listening at Death’s Door

My friend Betty is a little weird.  Why?  Because she’s a world-class listener.  And these days, not many people are good at listening—not with all the screens vying for our attention and the million must-do details running through our heads.  Stopping in the midst of...
Surviving South Dakota Winds

Surviving South Dakota Winds

In a small South Dakota town, a little girl crawled under her trailer.  The wind was picking up, and at 20 below, it cut like a knife.  Nobody was home, but she had to do something.  Working her way underneath the bathroom, she pulled at the extension cord. This...
The Perfect Storm (The Conclusion)

The Perfect Storm (The Conclusion)

Room 212 has no windows.  There’s no sunlight breaking through the blinds, warming my students in its brightness.  There are no views of Pikes Peak or of the leaves changing outside. Still, I’ve found beauty there. That classroom has been my home base, the setting...
The Perfect Storm

The Perfect Storm

After the shooting two weeks ago, the police found a note inside the gunman’s car.  “I don’t have any friends,” he wrote.  “I don’t have any family. . .I’ve been an isolated loner my entire life.” He was only nineteen—a recent graduate of Central Visual and Performing...
Trying to Not Get Eaten (The Conclusion)

Trying to Not Get Eaten (The Conclusion)

Stephen waited at the table across the hall.  Kicking him out of class seemed like the right idea at the time, but he missed Zack courageously sifting through his thoughts, and he missed Madison shouting at the hecklers to “give ’em space.”  I wished...
Trying to Not Get Eaten (Part 2)

Trying to Not Get Eaten (Part 2)

Class had barely started, and it was already a disaster.  Across the hall, Stephen waited for me.  After tripping Laticia and getting kicked out of class, he and I needed to have a little chat.  But he could wait.  I needed to calm down.  Adrenaline surged through my...