It Takes a Princess to be a Queen

Photo by Edward Eyer on

Poor little thing, feet bare, bedraggled dress, beleaguered, and common. The prince says to me, “I’ve found a wife.”

More like a wet kit.

I could say, “She’s a sly one.” He would never listen. He has too good a heart.

So, I tell my maid, “Find her a gown. Let her sup in the kitchen. And lastly, make up the softest bed with the hardest pebbles inside as a test.” Maid’s done this many times.

The ungrateful girl eats nothing. The satin is not fine enough, the slippers too stiff. By morning, I know she’s a princess most uncommon.

A Stormy Night Atop a Pea

Edmund Dulac, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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.

She didn’t sleep a wink.

A Mother’s Quandary

Photo by Elina Fairytale on

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.”

The Woodsman’s Lament

Photo by cottonbro studio on

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.”

Cut Before the Chase

Photo by Maria Fernanda Fotografia on

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.

A Baby is More Than a Symbol

Photo by Lisa Fotios on

Pinky cheeks, a rooting mouth against Hester’s full breast, the newborn was greedy. Driven by her wants, she took what she needed. She was utterly satisfied.

Her twin brother squirmed in their father’s arms. “He’s strong, look at those little fists.” Eric passed him to his mother.

Eric gazed at his suckling son, then at his daughter.

Hester’s eyes teared up.

“We’re ready now,” Eric said. Thirty, not the nineteen they’d been when God had spared them and took away their sin. 

The mother’s emotions were more complicated. While he had gone to war, she had made her own peace.

Into Thin Air

Photo by Adrienn on

“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.

Letter to the Editor

Photo by cottonbro studio on

Dear Sir:

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.

Sincerely yours,

Art Intel

Local 9000, Hal-2001 United

Springiness Delayed

Photo by Christian Domingues on

Watch me spring forward and fall back, sleepy and dazed, assaulted by the time change.

I wish to stay in bed an extra hour. I can’t. The dogs can and do. The delay in daybreak confuses them. I understand because I’m confused as well.

It has been two weeks of gradual adjustment, falling asleep early, doing yoga in the dark. But the light keeps changing, the spring keeps springing, every day is longer than the last.

I am almost persuaded that the sun will shine bright and clear on the world’s dark doings. If not, give me back that hour.

Tucker Comes Out for News-Peak

Photo by Markus Spiske on

The interviewer asked the obvious.

“You got that totally wrong. Hate is… well, I understand Trump. Same thing, isn’t it?” Tuck tucked a digit into the collar of his tight white shirt. Under the kleig lights, he became uncomfortably aware of his conscience. He recovered.

Hate is love. Was it Ayn Rand, one of her essays? A review of some book that Kevin Baby recommended? 1984, that was it.

Whatever. The ratings are waiting. “Now what I really hate, wokeness. Banking libs take their eyes off the ball…”

The interviewer asked the obvious.

“Not libertarians. Those guys are cool.”