The Monster Without

“Ready to go, Chip?”

“Sure thing, Pop.” This was going to be a special “just us” trip outside, just me and my Pop. I felt all grown up, even though I was still a ‘tween. I’d lived a sheltered life, here at the house with Mother and my brothers and sisters; I’d never even been outside to play yet. I was ready for an adventure!

“Well, don’t just stand there dawdling. Lunch isn’t going to eat itself, you know!”

I followed Pop out of our small, but comfortable, house into the sunshine of an already warm June day. Mother stayed behind, curled up on her bed, surrounded by my siblings. “Be safe, my darlings!” she called after us.

Pop stopped, a horrified look on his face. “What’s wrong, Pop?” I asked.

“The neighbors house. My goodness, I just saw them yesterday! There’s nothing left!” Continue reading

Upgrade

I’m a cheating hussy and my husband couldn’t be more glad of that fact.  Now, y’all might be scratching your heads at that one, but trust me, it’s the God’s honest truth.

You see, when I met the man I’m going to spend the rest of my life with, I was already married to a low-down, no-good skunk of a guy who didn’t know how to treat me right. Sure, he cooked me dinner once in a while. Yes, he took pretty good care of our kids.  But that same man had a terrible temper; and he liked to take that temper out on my nice things, throwing them and whatnot.  To make sure that I never thought more of myself, him knowing that I was the smarter of the two to begin with, he never missed a chance to put me in my place, especially in public. Them failed English majors sure do have a way with words sometimes.

When you added up all the fors and againsts, that scale came down pretty heavy on my leaving him, which is why, for some perverse reason, that man would do some strange things to try to keep me around.  Continue reading

Waiting on the Gods

Ashanti and Mirou were sitting in the warm afternoon sun, combing long strands of flax fibers and preparing them to be spun.

Mirou looked at Ashanti’s hands, then at her own. Ashanti’s hands were once soft and without the callouses that marked her own palm and fingers. They were the hands of a high priestess, not of a slave; now they were raw, red, and painful to look at.

“Ashanti?”

“Yes, Mirou?”

“Are your hands happy?”

“Now, Mirou? No. But they are learning a new job, here in the sun with you. It was the Gods’ will that I leave behind my writing and my arts. My hands will be happy, in time.”

Mirou looked at Ashanti’s feet. No longer did soft slippers protect them from the bite of sharp stones. Ashanti’s feet still bled, even though she had been sitting and working for several hours.

“Ashanti?”

“Yes, Mirou?”

“Are your feet happy?”

“Now, Mirou? No. They miss dancing under the light of the full moon. When Demeter herself was envious of my pretty brown slippers, I slipped them off my feet and gave them to her. Now she bleeds as if a virgin again, and I am allowed the peace of an old woman. My feet will be happy again, in time.”

Mirou looked at Ashanti’s face. Her once blue eyes were milky-white, clouded over with age.

“Ashanti?”

“Yes, Mirou?”

“Are your eyes happy?”

“Now, Mirou? No. My eyes will never again see the beauty of a sunset, a tiny flower, or my lover’s face. Remember always that Silenus is an angry drunkard, and Hera bears grudges. Together, they conspired to cover my eyes, thus even Apollo’s smallest servants have advantage over me. No matter, I hear as well as ever.”

“But, Ashanti?”

“Yes, Mirou?”

“Are you happy?”

“Now, Mirou? Yes. I am happy.”

“How, Ashanti? How can you be happy? Your soft hands are in pain, your feet are bleeding, and your eyes are blind.”

“I am still here, Mirou. The Gods are not finished with me yet.”