Microfiction: Four Stories About Love

(This was fun! Stay tuned for whatever is coming next!)

There were three people on opposite sides of the park. An expanse of green spread out between them, dotted by picnic baskets, umbrellas, babies taking shaky steps. Above, a blue ocean of sky. They couldn’t see one another well, but they waved all the same.

They made up stories about each other. The old man was a war veteran. The young boy was his grandchild. The two women and the girl were a new family, brought together by love.

The stories were happy ones, and there were some truths in there, but it didn’t matter. It was a perfect day.

The yeti said ‘I love you’ with mushrooms brought to the seashore, and the mermaid always smiled. He would kneel down and she would braid his long, mossy hair with seaweed, and he chased the gulls away when they dove at her shimmering tail.

The mermaid said ‘I want you here with me’ with abalone and clams. He would build fires at night on the beach and dig tidal pools for her to lounge in, and they watched the stars shine and fade.

And even when her breasts sagged and his hair fell out in clumps, they still remained together.

“Please don’t go,” she said to him, through the tears only a seven-year-old in love could show. “Please don’t move. I’ll let you play with all my toys. As much as you want.”

“My parents are making me. We’re going to Alaska. I’ll send you pictures,” he said, as stoic as a nine-year-old can be.

“But you’ll come back, right?” She blew her nose on his sleeve, even though he made a face. “You’ll come back and see me?”

“I think so,” he said, believing the words.

And every month, there was a postcard with a moose in the mailbox.

They lived in the house together, all five of them, and there was always tea and fresh-cut flowers and blankets in the winter. The house smelled like lemon, and when any of them hurt or felt pain, the other four would enclose them in a circle of love.

Of course, there was talk of the strangers in the beautiful house on the hill. About how their love was something to be feared, something to avoid.

But the yellow walls and brown shutters held tight and fast. Inside, the five needed only one another, and they were happy in that knowledge.

Microfiction: Four Fairy Tales

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far away, the spare for the heir was betrothed to a terrible prince in an effort to unite the families. The princess begged for it not to be, but they were married in the sweltering heat of August.

On her wedding night, she cut the prince’s throat with a cheese knife and ran into the cursed wood. There, she confronted a coterie of monsters and won their hearts.

Both kingdoms burned in the bright light of her vengeance, and the blood glowed in the streets.

Every monster deserves to pen their own ending.

The fairies sat in the shade of the mushroom, counting seeds and watching the sun rise. The world woke up with the trill of songbirds, and the neighborhood cat stalked after a field mouse, disappearing in a blur of gray in the grass.

The fairies held hands and saw that the leaves were beginning to change, green bleeding out into crimson, earthbrown, mustard. They pulled their vole capes close as the wind changed, and the harvest moon turned a pale white.

When the winter came, they parted on the backs of birds. They promised they would meet again in spring.

Even in the deep snow, the man heard the bear approach, giant paws sinking into the drifts of white. “My cave collapsed,” the bear said. “I have nowhere to go. Let me stay with you this winter.”

“I don’t have much food,” the man said, setting down the axe he used to chop firewood.

“I will not need to eat,” the ageless creature said, dark eyes swimming. “Only a safe haven.”

Against his better judgment, the man opened his door and ushered the great beast in.

There were no wishes granted for this, save warmth and company in his heart.

The Earth fell for the comet, and it watched wistfully as its beautiful tail arced through the darkness of space. “Come closer,” the Earth whispered. “Just for a time.”

The comet laughed and sped away but came back in time. It considered and said, “If I do this thing, I will hurt you. It is inevitable.”

“I do not care,” the Earth said. “Just grant me a moment with you, and it will be worth it.”

The comet’s embrace was one of fire and thunder,  and the Earth smiled even in the face of destruction, its final joy a shattering.


Beastly Be (A Poem)


Last night, I got to attend a delightful event put on by Hyacinth Girl Press for their release of “Free Monster Poems About Monsters.” It was very awesome and featured a number of extremely talented writers and performers. During the open mic section, I read the following poem that I wrote for the occasion.

Beastly Be

I see you there. I’m not afraid.
Your thick skin, the webbing between your fingers and toes.
The soft moon pale of your teeth, the shimmer of your scales,
And I count five tentacles and the remains of one more, only a stump
Your eyes, bright crimson lava when I come to bed
And the almost gray cracks of gold coals when I awaken
You were there, so full of mirth and bemused age, when I would drag my mother to stay with me until I fell asleep,
You were there, silent guardian of the underbelly of night, when I cried alone when she was gone
You were there, trying to decipher this curiosity, when I woke up thighs thick with first blood
You were there when I was on top, crowing yes
You were there when I was on my back, saying no
And that was when I hated you
I couldn’t get away from the stink of you, the wretched ragged in-out of breath,
Ugly dog that followed me to school, from apartment to condo to house
I left my hand over the edge, waiting for you to grab it, pull me to hell with you
But you didn’t
I found you redeemed the day that a man I had in my home one too many times
Who always used his words like a bat, the drink for his brazen fists,
Then, only then, there you were
All balrog, all manticore, all demon, dark and furious
The blood on my hands was hot enough for both of us
We had our fill
Now, I invite you out freely
You’re too good for the cobwebbed bed
You are my personal monster
The clack of my heels compliments your claws
My eyes shine now in the dark as well
We slither through this darkness as one
And we feast on this world together.