Showing posts from May, 2024

To Seethe... or Not...

The woman didn't know that her life was small. Not small in the satisfying sense. But small in the sense that she herself was small - small of heart. She plotted revenge for those who wronged her, gossiped brutally to wound those who she thought inferior, and didn't give the time of day for new folk or new ideas. Had she been told that her life was small, she wouldn't have cared. Cruel people rarely do. Little could be done to change her predicament. For predicament it was. Her life hung on a balance, tipping over little by little, basking in the glow of her feeling that she was right without question. She demanded her due, and found all others wanting. And at night, she seethed. It was a small existence. The woman didn't know that her life was small. Not small in the cruel, meaningless sense. But small in the sense that she lived in a little village, did the same tasks daily, and knew better than to spend her time plotting revenge for those who wronged her. When she me

The World in Hiding

 Once upon a time a petty little man hid in a cave and grumbled his grievances to the wall.     The world was very happy with this state of affairs and wished that other petty little men would hide in caves.       The world, however, did not know how to ask the other petty little men to bugger off. On and on the petty little men grumbled until the world flinched and groaned and rolled its eyes once too often. And so, the world decided to employ a tactic it had never used before.     The world decided to hide until the petty little men died off.     It's still hiding.         

A Witch Saves the World

 Once upon a time an empire threatened to impress the world. One small village, however, went undetected by its lure. How it did so is a story of perspective. For one woman's evil empire is another man's status quo. And it is her job to do life differently.     The key was this: when the world turned large and looming, the village didn't know. They had food to grow and clothes to mend, bread to bake and fish to catch. Their village witch had an idea that the world was growing sour. But there was no need to trouble anyone with the notion until it was time.      The empire came knocking, and the witch told the village. But she also said, 'Let them come. There is little we can do to keep them out, and it is better for our minds to be occupied with living.' And so her village did as she suggested.     The plan of the village spread to another village, one closer to the heart of the empire, through a traveling peddler. And then from that village to another. And from that

Tales of the Fairy and Holes in the Plot

Branches, branches. Branches everywhere. It always begins this way. Branches. Or brambles. A briar. Thick and encroaching. A breakable portent of evil. Though it can be eradicated with a hacksaw. And the girl is asleep, the story says. Covered by a curse. Doomed.     The girl thought about these odd things as she lay on her bed at the top of the castle's tallest tower, drowsy and in and out of sleep. The castle was covered in branches and briars and brambles, and other bushy things that bore down on passersby. She was hiding in her bed. Just in case someone decided to play the rescuer. She couldn't remember the end of the stories, but surely no one would look for her here. Not in her bedroom. That would be rude.    She was glad the sorceress had forgotten about fog. No one ever gets cursed with fog. The sorceresses always forgot about fog. The thing about fog, she thought, was that in the story, the fog is already there, misty, glomming onto the atmosphere to set the stage. I

A Tale on the Faults of a Utilitarian Calculus

Once upon a time, a little girl—the daughter of a great shepherdess—was gifted a sheep. The girl loved the sheep as though it were an extension of herself, caring well for it every day, and snuggling against its warm coat every night.      One day, a dragon flew down, eyed the sheep, and said to the little girl who had thrown herself in front of it, ‘if you give me your sheep willingly and with no fuss, I won’t burn your village to the ground.’      The little girl’s eyes went wide, then narrowed in a calculating fashion as the wheels of her mind began to turn.      ‘Dragon, sir,' she said, 'I cannot give you my sheep, not even to save my whole village, for I have promised to care for it. But you may eat me instead.'      The dragon blinked once, then twice, and then flew away from the sheep, the village, and the little girl, for he did not have enough logic in his heart to contend with that.