Imprinted (potentially triggery flash fiction with some knives, thumbs, and a marriage, plus it represents 6 years of my life so worth a read on that basis alone)
My husband’s thumb lies nestled among the mushrooms on the countertop. Not twitching and jumping like the body of a live fish when you cut off the head. Just resting, as the head itself would do. A small amount of blood, a soupçon in cooking terminology, fans out from the point of detachment in an irregular pool.
READ the full story here:
The Calvin Harris Twitter rant about Taylor Swift trying to “bury” and “tear down” her ex-boyfriend has brought out the haters en masse, even getting the tag #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty trending as the Internet gleefully piled on. Everyone is very pleased that Calvin “exposed” Taylor for the manipulative, bitchy, evil snake that she is (insert multiple snake emojis here because that’s how all the cool haters roll). They don’t seem to realize or care that they are being sexist jerks.
“What? This isn’t about a man getting angry because a woman took credit for her own work! Why do you always play the sexist card? Taylor’s a disrespectful, fake Nazi Barbie trying to steal credit.”
No, sorry. You’re still a sexist jerk—and it very much is about a woman getting slammed for taking credit for her own work. Let me explain: Taylor didn’t “secretly” write (aka ghostwrite) the lyrics and melody of “This Is What You Came for.” Before her publicist acknowledged that she was the author, a person other than Calvin Harris already had that songwriting credit.
The world knew that Calvin didn’t craft every word and note of this song on his own—but no one cared until Taylor Swift was involved and they could help Calvin run with the narrative of the poor, wronged ex-boyfriend and the evil, bitchy ex-girlfriend. Calvin’s writer is suddenly his very recent, famous ex and somehow then—and only then—is it a problem for Calvin or anyone else that another person wrote the lyrics and melody. Let me repeat: It was never just his song. Another person had a listed writing credit and publishing rights the entire time.
Loser Cat (A Little Apocalyptic Short Story W/ Religious Extremism, a Shoutout to Margaret Atwood, a Secret Cameo (Shh!!!) by Hillary Clinton, Feminist Nuns–Some With Jokes, Some With Stilettos (The Knife Not the Heel), Laura Ingalls Wilder Love, Spinsters, and a Wee Bit of Educational Twerking
In the year of Our Lord 2033, I bide here in my cell.
Technically, I’m a nun, not a prisoner, but why quibble because I have a name instead of an inmate number? Mary Elizabeth’s not even my real name. A preacher gave it to me when I took my vows at the virginal age of forty-five.
Read the rest of this story in the lovely EXPOUND, an international online journal based out of Nigeria:
Are you a Morgan or an Aaron? I’ve got some The Walking Dead style ethical ?’s going on, so pull up a chair and let’s philosophize!
Is preserving our own beliefs better than reaching out to help others no matter what the personal cost? I contemplated this thorny issue watching “JSS,” the second episode in season six of the zombie apocalypse TV juggernaut The Walking Dead. The question centers on the actions of two good, kind men: Morgan and Aaron. In “JSS” (SPOILERS COMING), a group of very unpleasant men and women—with Ws carved into their foreheads to mark them as Wolves—partially ransack Alexandria, the town where Morgan and Aaron live, murdering many citizens in torturous ways that rival the worst “walker” (zombie) attacks.
Read the rest of my wee (and spoiler-filled if you haven’t seen the episode) essay here.
I’ve lived my entire life in the South, first Georgia and now North Carolina, but I’ve never paid much attention to the Confederate battle flag, the so-called stars and bars. Despite some ancestors who fought for the Confederacy and several childhood family vacations spent navigating cannons, split-rail fences, and museums filled with the tattered remnants of soldiering at Civil War battlefields, I didn’t associate the Confederate flag with my Southern heritage. However, I didn’t particularly associate it with present-day racism, which seemed more insidious and less blatant.
Read the rest of my new essay at Killing the Buddha: http://killingthebuddha.com/ktblog/battle-flag/
Religious Freedom Laws: Stoning American Style (While This Title Is a Semi-Homage to the 70s TV Show ‘Love, American Style,’ the Similarity Ends There Because Those Laws Are Light on Humor and Love–and Heavy on Mean)
I’m now a blogger at Killing the Buddha website, and my blog is “Planet Reasonable.”
My first post is about religious freedom laws. Read the post here:
My Mama Kissed a Cockroach (But Really She Did. Learn Why in My Personal Essay About Choices and Compassion, and Roaches, Don’t Forget Those Roaches, and I Ain’t Talking ‘60s Slang for Marijuana, This Is Actual Creepy Crawly Vermin, Y’all)
Choice is a cornerstone of American society. The songs my classmates and I learned in grade school heralded freedom of choice—room for us all—as the unifying force that made the United States stand above other countries. “Sweet land of liberty” and “This land was made for you and me” rang with conviction from our throats as we serenaded the luminaries of our constricted lives during pageants and concerts. To an extent, that freedom has always had a one-dimensional quality, with “you vs. me” more common than “you and me” outside the walls of the crepe-papered auditorium.
Read the rest of this fabulously intriguing essay here:
Color Blind (Eco-Fiction That Covers Extinctions, Sesame Street, Apocalypse, Sekhmet, Angels, Dead Girls, My Real-life Brother’s Bands, & Cats — All in Under 1,700 Delicious Words)
The Panamanian golden frogs died first. Extinct but for a few stray specimens stored with hermetic zeal in zoo laboratories. Scientists fretted, as did some intrepid reporters from National Geographic, Smithsonian, and the New Yorker. The Panamanians were devastated. They considered the golden frog their national emblem and put its likeness on their key chains and coffee mugs. No one else cared. After all, the golden frogs were frogs, not puppies, and other things were golden: daffodils, tomato blossoms, the sun, Big Bird. …
Read the complete story here:
Wallow (A Fictional Account of a Sin Eater, Which Sounds Kinda Kinky, but No, It’s More of a Study of Good and Evil, plus Some High Fashion)
I’m a little gassy today. I ate an extra-large serving of sin last night, and it didn’t go down easy. I’m not talking about simple gluttony. I enjoy the occasional second dessert as much as anyone. I’m a bona fide sin eater. It’s the family business.
We’re relative newcomers to the field. Veritable upstarts, according to some. Sin eating came into its own during the trials of the dead in ancient Egypt. Not even a pharaoh could be buried until 42 religious bureaucrats quizzed the next of kin on the life and character of the departed. That sounds excessive, I know, but it matched the number of officials believed to be in the court of Osiris, the god of the afterlife. …
Hmm … This short story (second one I ever published, so like the first one, it might not be my greatest) was originally in print at Side B magazine, which appears to have completely disappeared from the Internet.
But you can listen to me read it here because it was the 2011 Side B/Drum Dual Publication Award Winner (and aren’t you just itching to hear me tell you a story):
Bunnies Bathing (aka My First-Ever Published Short Story, Called ‘Quiet’ at the Time, so Might not Be Good, but You City Folk Will Learn a Survival Skill to Prepare You for Any Coming Apocalypse, so Read on, Knowledge = Power)
How to kill a rabbit:
Step One. Put the rabbit on a flat surface and hold it behind the head.
Step Two. Hit the rabbit on the top of the head with a hammer. One sharp blow right between the ears, and the rabbit will convulse and die. There is little blood.
Step Three. Slit the rabbit’s throat.
Step Four. Hold the rabbit upside down by the feet. There is some blood, though nothing on par with a butchered hog. Let the blood drain out onto the ground or into a bucket.
Step Five. Dress the rabbit:
To learn how to dress the rabbit — and read the rest of this short story, go here: