Your mother is annoyed. She barks at the receptionist, “It’s all her fault I’m late.” Four minutes. But it was Mom who lost the address.
“If you want me, I’ll be in the car.”
Windows down in the mad heat, waiting forever for an apology that never comes. Long enough to calm down.
She gets in, ragging, “You’re too sensitive.” Like that’s a criminal offense.
Her anger never stops. It circulates, accrues interest. She banks outrage. The only solution is to withdraw.
You will say, “I’m gone.” She will cry. You will come back. You just don’t know when.
Red Queen to Red Queen, “I’m finished.”
Mom calls me in tears. “She makes me move, then leaves in the middle of packing.”
Mom doesn’t know what to do. She never expected my sister to abandon her.
I say that RQ is unpredictable. That she wants convenient proximity, not emotional closeness, that it’s always been this way.
Mom’s flash bang hysterics burst into a gotcha grin. I see it through the wires. She’s pulled me into family hell.
Cheshire Catlike, I disappear to draw maps of Crazy Crisis Wonderland, hoping to find a way out. But, there is no exit.
The walls are thin. After my mom and I argue, I meet her neighbor in the rec room and it seems she’s heard everything. What I said about wishing my mother wouldn’t move because her memory is bad. Because it takes time to make friends. Because she’s not old furniture for my sister to rearrange when it suits her.
Mom depends on my sister. I live in another state.
The neighbor said, “My daughter bought across town. She wanted me to find a place close by, but I stayed put. People are nice here. I depend more on myself, now.”
It was a fine table Guaire set for the poets who stayed in his castle. But Seanchan, the most renowned, was displeased. “What victuals these? Better suited to cats than to learned men.” And by cats he meant the nobles filling their faces down the table. “So fat these cats, the mice run wild in the kitchen.”
When Irusan, King of the Cats, heard this insult, he came to kill Seanchan. Loading the bard on his back, he ran like the wind until they encountered St. Kieran who ran a hot poker through Irusan, saving Seanchan to reconcile with Guaire.
Retold from Ancient Legends of Ireland by Lady Wilde.
My one hundred word story, Not an Emergency, is available on the online literary magazine Scribes*Micro*Fiction Issue Eight. http://www.fairfieldscribes.com/issue-8.html
This is a creative non-fiction piece about fault lines between sisters at a funeral.
“Why do you fear the dark?”
“It’s too quiet. It blocks my sight.” Dagny’s bright yellow hair contrasted with Lilith’s dark curls.
“Close your eyes,” she said.
He did. Reluctantly.
“What do you see?” Lilith moved a hand across his shuttered gaze.
“A flash, dark, flash.”
She dropped her hand to her lap. “Then gather the light that is left behind your lids and see my form in your mind’s eye.”
To begin, Lilith was a shadow. Her hair was the first to differentiate itself. Then her lips and her eyes, and once her face appeared, Dagny had no fear.
Inspired by Jane Yolen’s The Moon Child.
Margie* told a little lie,
Fleeced those who did not know.
And everywhere that Margie went,
The lie was sure to go.
*Marjorie Taylor Greene
It followed her to Washington.
It spread and spread and spread.
The hospitals filled with Covid deaths
In states the color red.
Sean Hannity said, “Get a vax.”
And so did Valentine*.
But Margie wouldn't know the truth
If it bit her from behind.
*Phil Valentine, conservative talk show host
I hope this rhyme does not offend,
It is not meant to do.
It's only that we can't pretend
Fake facts will get us through.
And why, you say, a send up
Of Mary's Little Lamb.
False claims did plague its author, though
She'd published her iamb.
Eighteen thirty was the date
On Mrs. Hale's book.
'Twas nineteen twenty-eight, about, when
Old Ford* had a look.
*Henry Ford, famous for cars and conspiracy theories
He wrote that Hale plagiarized
The poem she’d published first.
The lie went out across the land.
This fib was not Ford’s worst.
His may have rivaled Margie's lies,
Though, that I do not know.
But at the time, he did his part
Mean chaos here* to sow.
*Via his newspaper, Dearborn Independent
Nineteen twenty-seven saw
Him hateful towards the Jews.
The case, it went before the court.
The judge decried his views.
Ford used slave labor overseas
To build in German towns.
Despite his past apologies,
The liar doubled down.
So now we come to Margie's “facts,”
The same The Donald told.
Like Henry Ford they watch folks die,
While piling up the gold.
**Next week will be a drabble.
Saturdays, while stepmother and stepsisters high-society circulated, Cinder Princess rubbed the mirror until it shimmered into a river that led to her mother and father.
The rest of the week, she did her stepmother’s bidding. Charwork produced strong arms, lean legs, a smile more charming than any in the kingdom.
Intuition, purity, and her parent’s love led her to a trove worthy of Croesus, truly home. Her arms comforting, her smile a beacon to all in need, Cinder Princess lived happily ever after.
Jealous, undeserving and greedy, stepmother and stepsisters followed the mirror into the stingy life that was their just reward.
Inspired by Jane Yolen’s Moon Ribbon.
Flax fields grew atop a rocky mountain. Never suspecting they would be trampled, the pretty blue flowers waved at trucks filled with chemicals. They expected to become fiber, fabric, clothing, paper; to end in a spark of light and heat, ascending to the sun. That is what their ancestors had done.
But they were destined to die under machines that would mine shale, producing oil that would make polyester, gas that would become electricity to power the paper of the internet. Their glory short lived, the flowers photosynthesized carbon from the atmosphere, but not enough to cool the warming earth.
Hans Christian Anderson, The Flax inspired this story.
A desperate hag stood on the step.
As Hezbella opened the door, children spilled outside in a game of chase. “Can I help you?” Hezbella, a generous person, really meant this.
“Take her back. Please.”
“Do I know you?” Tugging at Hezbella’s skirts, a small child made a hiding place.
“I have your first born.”
Hezbella tried hard to remember, but so much had happened. “That was ages ago. Something about arugula?”
“I can’t keep up with her.”
“Teenagers can be tough. But you have so many advantages, being a witch and all.”
“Wicked young crushes wicked old every time.”