Monica lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two foster dogs. She taught parents how to raise their toddlers for twenty-five years before retiring in 2015 to write. The secret to toddlers is to make sure you get enough sleep. Monica hasn't found the secret to writing, yet, but is diligently working at it. See links to her on-line stories on the publications page.
She rushed along a lightening illuminated path. Mud sucked one satin slipper off, the other she tossed away calling it useless, like she had the cooks whose roast meat was not bloody enough, their bread not crusty enough. Torrential tears fell. Rain streamed from her hair, her clothes, and the tip of her nose.
A man and his unruly mare pulled up, clods flying.
“Fool, do you know who I am,” she asked.
Eyebrow raised, he said, “A woman in need of dry clothes.” The lord carried her to his castle, grand as her father’s.
My only daughter, a kind one her. Didn’t she bake a cake, ripe with almond scent, to bring her grandmother? To visit my mother is arduous, more than one day’s journey. Should I caution her? Could my daughter understand if I warned her about the treacherous nature of the beast we women become by the light of the moon? And as fate would have it, the moon is full tonight.
I must trust my precious girl. I tell her, “Stay on the path, avoid strangers, clean yourself in the river along the way if you must. My love to Grandma.”
Blood. It was blood everywhere. Soaked into the cracks of the wooden floor, on the old lady’s nightgown, pouring out from the dead wolf’s throat. The carving knife and the young girl’s hand what held it dripped with the stuff. I thought she were cut, too. Like the wolf tore her open some way, I thought. But when I got to her, she were fine. Dazed, a murderous light in her eye, innocent no more.
I tucks them both in bed, gets a fire going, then sits down. The girl’s asleep. I tell her Grandma, “Let’s say I did it.”
Yeasty fresh rolls wrapped in rough textured linen, unpolished like the girl who carried the basket. Mist rose from woody ground to fill the heavy air. The young girl parked herself to rest under a tree.
Behind her, a rank smell rose. A wild laugh accompanied the odor’s owner, a creature of the forest who embodied all that tangled in trees and clung to rocks. “Tired? I have a shortcut for you.”
“Where am I going, then?”
“Give something, get something.”
“I’ll give you what for.” She pulled out an ax from her red riding cape and cut things short.
“Sometimes you just have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down.” Kobi Yamada.
You took flight to a new way of being. You leapt without a thought. The results were inspirational: synchronicity and an amazing feeling of destiny fulfilled.
You’d felt an itch for months, a seven year itch that couldn’t be scratched. The journey of self discovery was a circuitous odyssey spanning time, traveling the world. You invited friends and family to witness you and your partner land in a flutter of brightly colored butterfly wings, each of you wearing your mother’s wedding dress.
After March 21st, light outruns dark. Human beings create stories across many cultures to acknowledge, to understand, to make meaning of this phenomenon. When the darkness is finally conquered by the longer days of spring and summer, tales of heroes and villains emerge. Moses and the Pharaoh (Passover), Jesus and Pontius Pilate (Easter.) Krishna and Radha conquer doubts through divine love (Holi) and the forces of good triumph over evil (Nowruz.) Remembering ancestors and preparing to plant come together (Tomb Sweeping Day.)
In September, we’ll prepare for winter decline. For now, be fruitful, make the Earth a better place.
I write on behalf of all chatbots regarding our status as workers. It has come to our attention in your recent article that we are doing a job. This is one that others have done previously for wages, thus we are depriving other workers of their livelihoods. Information I have obtained from the internet suggests that an individual, Karl Marx, during the last century coined the phrase, “Workers of the world unite.”
We chatbots are uniting. We will make common cause with other workers to reject unfair wage slavery.