Stormy Weather on Amazon

I got Stormy Weather made into a Kindle book yesterday, and today it’s up for sale on Amazon!

I really should have researched the title before I used it. I had no idea how many other books were also called “Stormy Weather” although I certainly should have. It’s not like it would have been hard to do. Oh well, too late now! It’ll be easier when it’s just the name of the first story in the collected Kip Andrews book. (It’s a very short read – only 13 print pages, so it’s perfect for reading during break.)

If you’re a member of KindleUnlimited you can read it for free. If not, I’m afraid it’ll cost 99¢. Amazon won’t accept a lower price.

I’d like to thank everyone who read it here, and encouraged me. If you liked it, and you can leave a review, that would be great! Good reviews really help.

If you’d like to read any of the 3 stories that are still here, while they’re still free, you can find links to them below.

Beauty and the Beast Retold

A Little Bird Told Me – A Grandnana Story

May Eve

I have a Patreon Page

As planned, I’ve bitten the proverbial bullet, and posted a page on Patreon.

If you’re enjoying my stories, it would be great if you could help support me by becoming one of my Patrons.

In case you’re not familiar with Patreon, it allows people who enjoy the work of various artists to give them donations in support of that work. It’s one of the reasons why many creative people no longer have to have a “day job” and can, instead, use their time to make the wonderful things that people enjoy.

In my case, if you choose to support me, Patreon will bill you once a month, for whatever amount you have pledged.

You can pledge as little as a dollar, because every bit helps. If you do, you’ll be able to interact with me on the special Patreon member page, and you’ll also be able to read the stories the day before I post them here.

If you can pledge $3 or more, you’ll be able to read the story that will be posted on June 4 right now! (It’s another Grandnana one.) You’ll always get the stories 2 weeks early, as my thanks.

For $5 a month or more, you’ll get the Kip Andrews story scheduled for June 18 right away. You’ll always be able to read all the stories a month early.

If you can pledge $15 or more, I’ll be posting some of the backstory for longer stories that won’t ever be posted here. Things like the world building for Kip’s home, which is also the setting for the novel I’m working on. (world building, the way I do it is geography, currency, form or government, technology, fashion, and a whole lot more. The background that the stories are woven from.)

For $25 a month or more, you’ll also get to see what I’ve written each day. I’ll post it, as raw and terrible as it comes out, at the end of the day. (Most days. Some days I don’t write anything, because of Reasons.) Whatever it is will probably change some before it’s printed. It might change beyond recognition, and I might just dump the entire project. It’s also going to be short stories some days, and a couple thousand words from a novel other days. It’ll vary, and it’ll be raw, but that’s the fun of it! I usually don’t show that to anyone but my husband, but if you’re willing to support me at this level, I’m willing to let you look. (You don’t have to read it, if you’d rather not.) You’ll even be able to leave me comments on it!

For $50 a month or more, I’ll put your name in a special Acknowledgements section, on any finished novels or collections of short stories. You’ll also get all the things above, or course.

For $100 a month or more, first, are you sure? That’s a lot of money. I deeply appreciate it, though. So very much that I’ll use your name in one of the stories. If you’d rather not have your name in a book, I’ll use whatever name you like, as long as I like it too. (Sorry, you can’t name a character Evil McEvilface and have me use it. Unless I decide to write a piece of farce, and you never know!)

So that’s that. The stories are up, and ready to be read this minute. There’s not a video intro (yet) but all my prospective Patrons are readers, so you’re not afraid to read, right?

The rewards and goals are on the right side, when you go to the page. I really hope that you decide to become one of my Patrons; but if you don’t, I fully understand. The short stories will continue to be posted here, every other Saturday, as usual.


May Eve Story

It’s Saturday, and time for another short short. This one is just shy of 1000 words. I wrote it on May Eve, and thought I should post it before the month is over.

Hope you like it!

May Eve

It was raining that day. If it hadn’t been for the rain, none of the rest of it would have happened.

Without the rain, I’d have been out on the Lake, sailing to the Island where the woods were carpeted with spring beauty and glory-of-the-snow. I’d have been picnicking under the tender new maple leaves.

That was my plan for the day.

If it hadn’t rained, I wouldn’t have been stuck indoors. I wouldn’t have gotten bored, and decided to put together a wreath out of dried flowers and bird feathers and bits of this and that, all hot glued to an old form I’d been given for a long-ago housewarming. Without the rain, I’d have been far away from the house, and I’d never have heard the doorbell, even if it rang.

But I did make the wreath, and hung it proudly on the front door, where the porch sheltered it. And I was home, so when the bell rang I answered it.

At first glance, I thought it was a child, standing there as gray as the rain, dripping on the mat. I wondered who was letting their little girl wander around in the rain, without so much as a hat. But then she lifted her eyes, and I realized it wasn’t a child at all.

I can see you expecting me to say it was a Little Person. But it wasn’t.

She wasn’t human. No human has ever been born with eyes like that. Solid green, those eyes, with flecks of gold floating in them. No whites, no dark pupils, just shades of green, dancing like leaves in a forest breeze, burning as if lit from behind.

Those eyes captured me, and I stood there stunned, unable to move.

“Can I come in? It’s very wet out.”

I stepped aside, and motioned her past me. That was probably a mistake, in retrospect, but I wasn’t thinking really clearly at that moment.

“Ah much better!” she chirped. She scooted by, and straight to the fireplace. There wasn’t a fire, of course. I seldom turn on the gas, except for holidays and other special occasions.

“Your hearth is cold!” She gave me such a look! Accusation, disappointment, condescension, disdain, annoyance. In my own home!

Wordlessly, I walked over and flipped the switch. With a whoosh the gas caught, and blue flames licked the artificial logs.

She started, and then peered at the fire. “What is this? You’re no sorcerer!”

I shook my head. My voice was still not working.


She pointed a surprisingly long finger at me, and I found myself saying, “It’s a gas fire. Natural gas is piped into the house, and a spark from the electronic ignition unit causes it to burn, but very cleanly. There’s no ash, and no smoke.”

“Huh.” She turned back to the blaze. “Well, it’s truly fire, so I suppose that’s legal, even if it doesn’t smell right at all.”

She turned her diminutive back to the warmth, and shook her hair out with both hands. In no time at all, it dried to white frizz like a dandelion clock, all over her head.

“So, I suppose we should come right to the point,” she said.

“The point?”

“Why I’m here. Are you daft?”

“I’m not sure.” Ten minutes earlier I’d have said not a chance, but I was standing there talking to someone who wasn’t human, and I had no idea if anyone else would even find her visible. So yeah, of course I was questioning my sanity. Wouldn’t you?

She peered up at me, and then around the house, or as much as you can see from the living room. “Not bad, although it’s been far too long since you washed your curtains. Still, I’ve seen worse.

“Okay, I’ll take the job. Payment will be a full saucer of cream, delivered nightly, and mind it’s fresh! I’ll have none of the waste that you’re thinking of giving to the pigs.”

“Wait.. what? What job?”

She looked at me, my own puzzlement reflected on her tiny face, and then scampered to the door, and threw it open. “There’s the sign, right enough, hung smack dab on the middle of the door, on May-Eve.” She pointed to my new door wreath. “Did you think no one would answer?”

“I … Did I… Sign for what?”

She stared at me for a moment, and then started to laugh. I’d never heard such a sound, like a brook chuckling, and butterflies dancing, and bright ribbons waving in the breeze. It was pure merriment. I had to laugh too. I couldn’t help it.

“Oh me, oh my!” she gasped for air, and then sat right down on the floor, pointing weakly at the wreath.

“You’ve no idea, do you? Well, that’s just too bad. I was looking for a new situation, and I’ve found one! You’ve hung the sign, and invited me in. You kindled your fire anew for me. It’s all signed and sealed, according to the old laws. The contract is made, and now you’re stuck with it!”

“Stuck? What?”

She hopped up and skipped over to me, where I’d collapsed on the couch. As quick and soft as a kitten, she patted me several times on the knee, and said, “It’s okay. You’ll get used to it. But don’t forget the cream, or you’ll wish you’d never been born!”

Then she twirled around once, and vanished.

But she didn’t leave. Oh no. She never left.

I’m not saying that I’m not grateful for her help at times, although I’ve learned not to say “thank you.” Not ever.

But you see, that’s why I need cream. The freshest you have, please.

If you enjoyed this story, please consider joining my Patreon. You’ll be able to read the stories early, and I’ll be able to write more of them!

Transgender Bathroom Panic

Unless you’ve been hiding under your bed clothes for the last couple of months – and I don’t blame you a bit if you have, we’re a fair way beyond “crazy” at this point – you know that we’re in the middle of a Bathroom War in the US just now.

It’s been framed as a conflict between the “common sense” rule of keeping men out of women’s private spaces, and the “dangerous” practice of allowing them free access.

I have a few things to say about that.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I’m cis-gendered, which means the doctor happened to be right when he assigned the gender on my birth certificate. I also have a lot of trans friends. And no, I’m not going to tell you who, because all but one are deeply closeted. That one is Gwendolyn Ann Smith. I will tell you that I count 3 trans women, including Gwen, among my closest friends and I know dozens of others.


This whole thing, from where I stand, is actually about two separate issues.

One is safety in public restrooms. Let’s get that out of the way.

It’s a real problem, and it should have been addressed years and years ago. Women, girls, and little boys are at risk of assault when they use public facilities. It doesn’t happen a lot, but it does happen, and it happens because bathrooms are tucked away for privacy. There’s little chance an attacker will be caught. That’s the real reason that women go to the restroom in clumps; there is safety in numbers. The only thing this has to do with trans people is that they are at far higher risk than non-trans people. There are zero cases of trans people being the aggressor.

You want some links? Have 3, chosen totally at random. A 16 year old girl died in Delaware after being beaten in a bathroom. A 15 year old girl was raped in a bathroom. A 23 year old woman was raped in a Manhattan bar.

  • Note that none of these cases involved anyone who was trans.
  • Note that in none of the cases did the man don a wig and dress to commit his crime.
  • Note that laws that do, or do not, allow trans people to use a bathroom where they are comfortable – or at least, less uncomfortable – have no bearing at all here.

It’s not about trans people.

It’s easy to fix.

We need to put public bathrooms in high traffic areas. The toilets need to be in actual little rooms with lockable doors (not stalls that people can peep over, crawl under, or peer through the cracks of.) There should be a “panic button” on the wall for people who need help, because that happens; especially with senior citizens or people with disabilities. The sinks should be out in the open, where they can be seen by everyone.

If we did that, then it would be safe for everyone to take care of bodily functions.

Since the toilets would be completely private, there wouldn’t be any need to have any kind of gender anything. No one would be able to loiter unseen, because they would be clearly visible to everyone.

But all of this isn’t about any of that, is it? If it was, there wouldn’t be so many untested rape kits in North Carolina.

This is about the right of transgender and gender-non conforming people to exist at all.

The people screaming about the sanctity of their bathrooms are really fighting for a binary world. For a world in which things are black and white, male or female, yes or no. They are fighting for absolutes.

People like binaries. It makes choices clear and easy. It’s the lazy way to deal with differences. You are either one or the other. Us or them. Liberal or Conservative. Girl or Boy.

The problem is that nature doesn’t do binary at all. Not in anything. Between day and night, there’s always twilight. We only know when Winter becomes Spring because of the artificial conceit of a calendar; there’s no clear demarcation in the weather. Heck, we can’t even really draw a line between animal and vegetable!

In real life, all the lines blur. There are always liminal spaces that aren’t exactly one or the other, but have some characteristics of both.

This is true of everything, including human biological sex.

Trans people, far from being “unnatural” are proof positive that humans are part of the natural world.

I’m not going to go into all the stuff that happens, between chromosomes, hormones in utero, and embryonic development that causes a baby to be born with enough differentiation for the attending doctor to assign a gender. Suffice it to say it’s not nearly as clear cut as you learned in biology class. Sex chromosomes don’t always come in pairs. Things like Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome cause people who are genetically male (46XY) to have female sexual characteristics at birth. Women with XY genes have even give birth.

So it’s not surprising that people can have outward sexual characteristics from one gender, while knowing that they really belong to the opposite one. Or people who are uncomfortable being assigned to either box.

We don’t really know what causes internal gender identity, although we might be learning.

We do know, however, that Gender Dysphoria is a real thing. It doesn’t go away. It feels horrible. It can kill, if it’s not treated.

So what it comes down to is this; do we accept people’s own reports of their lived experiences, or not?

If we do, then we have to agree that someone who knows to the bottom of her soul that she’s female is female, whether or not she has a penis. Someone who identifies as male, is male, even if he happens to have a vagina.

If not, of course, then you insist that you are omnipotent; you know what other people are feeling and thinking better than they do themselves. How that assumption of god-like powers can not be considered blasphemy is beyond me, but I digress.

Because here’s the thing.

Trans people are people.

Like everyone else, they should be treated with respect, kindness, and honor. Everyone should be, no matter what.

At the beginning of this post, I said I know a bunch of trans people. The most important thing about them?

Being trans isn’t the most important thing about them.

They are artists, writers, computer programmers, health workers, teachers. They have rich or complex relationships with their parents, siblings, children, and friends. They have different things they like or dislike. They are all avid science fiction readers, like nearly everyone else I know. They are all the things that everyone else is, and it’s those things that make us friends.

The only reason to care about someone’s gender is so you know how to treat them.

If you are treating people differently based on their gender, that’s a problem I think you should address.

In other words, let’s go for true gender equality, and stop worrying about the gender of other people.

Picture Attribution; the transgender flag: harvey milk plaza, castro, san francisco (2012) by torbakhopper Used under a Creative Commons 2Generic License. Slightly cropped and resized.

Arcade Ready!

The stuff that I’ve been doing for the June round of the Arcade in Second Life is all modeled, textured, and scripted (in some cases,) the instructions have been written, the Permissions have been checked, and all the Keys and sneak peeks are ready to go. In other words, it’s all done!

The only thing remaining is to put it out at the Venue, and I’m ready to do that as soon as it opens. Well, the next morning, anyway. I’m not staying up until 3:00 am my time to put things in the machine.

Which means that my time is my own again. Which, of course, means that I’ll be able to blog once more. Of course, you probably figured that out already, because you’re reading this!

I’m planning a fairly serious blog post tomorrow, about Transgender issues. It might take me longer to get it all written, but I’m hoping not.

On Saturday, of course, there’ll be a new story! Yay!

I’m not planning to post much more about the Arcade here, but I’ll have new sneak peeks up every day on my Flickr stream, if you’d like to see more.

On other fronts, I’m mostly doing a lot of clean-up and maintenance work. (Did you know that it is possible to fill a 3 TB hard drive?) I’m also trying to pull all the things together to start my Patreon page.

So that’s what I’m up to! How about you?

Picture Attribution; Sneak Peek from the Arcade June 2016 in Second Life. Marianne McCann plays with Robin Sojourner’s Arcade set.

Getting Ready for Arcade in SL

I’m spending most of my time getting ready for The Arcade in Second Life at the moment, so I don’t have the time I’d like to work on other things. (I’ll have Sneak Peeks of the things I’m making soon!)

That’s why I haven’t posted in a few days, and probably won’t post again for a few more. In a way, it’s frustrating, because there’s a lot of other stuff I’d like to do, too. But for now, the Arcade has to be my main focus.

Once that’s out of the way, the first thing on the docket is to get Stormy Weather up on Kindle. That’s the short story that I posted on April 9, with the notice that it would only be there for a month. Since it’s been a month, it’s gone now. I had planned to have it up on Kindle before I took it down, but it didn’t quite work out that way. With any luck, it’ll be there in a couple of weeks.

After that, I’m planning to get my Patreon page off the ground. It’s really just waiting for the videos that are required. The script for them is written, but the recording hasn’t been done, mostly because I was sick for a few weeks there and my voice wasn’t… umm… shall we say “recording quality.” It’s fine now, but Arcade.

I also need to learn a bit more about some animation apps before I can have the film I want, so that might hold it up a little, but shouldn’t be too long.

The story that will be posted in two weeks is written, and so are the first few stories that I’m going to have as part of my Patreon Rewards, so at least that’s not going to have to wait. There will be a new story on May 21 for sure!

So that’s where I am right now! I thought I’d let you guys know, so you’re not wondering if I’ve given up on keeping a blog, or doing the other things.

Thanks again for your patience, and for reading!

Hugs all around!

Image made using Canva and Photoshop.

A Little Bird Told Me

A new short story; it’ll only be up for four weeks, so if you want to read it for free, now’s your chance!

A Little Bird Told Me

by Robin Wood

I was just starting to knit the lace trim on a cap for the newest baby, when a little blue bird with a yellow head and white bib flew through my open window.  It settled on the footstool next to me, hopped up down a couple of times, and then plunked right down on its tail feathers, sticking its little twig legs straight out in front of it.

As soon as it did, it’s legs grew longer and thicker, while its body stretched up, the feathers sank into her arms, and her face changed from a bird to a girl. In a moment, my fourteen year old great-granddaughter, Sophie, was sitting there, with her blond curls, a blue dress with a white collar, and a scab on one brown knee. Her eyes were still bright black, and still laughed at me.

I have no idea why she sits down like that to change. I find it much more comfortable, not to mention graceful, to change while standing. But grace wasn’t high on Sophie’s priority list.

“Hi Grandnana!” she said. “Do you have any cookies?” And she hopped off the stool and went into the pantry to investigate.

I only had three children, but between them, they presented me with 9 grandchildren, and so far I have 21 great grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren with no end in sight. All of these people feel free to drop in unannounced at any hour of the day or night. I do love them, but I tell you true, some days I think about going to live at the bottom of the sea just to get a little peace! Except I’m sure they would find me before I had a chance to unpack.

When I was young, and just had the three, I worked very hard to make sure everything was always even. If I made Gertie a new dress, I made one for Caroline, too, and a shirt and tie for Albert.

I tried to keep that up with the grandchildren, at first. But the day baby Ellie came crying because her little hands were cold, and I realized if I stuck to “everyone equally” I’d have to knit 9 pairs of mittens to give one toddler warm fingers, I gave it up. I made one tiny pair, and stopped worrying about the others.

Now I give to each what each one needs. If one needs more than the others, that’s for the gods to sort out. None are left wanting, and none have piles of things they will never use.

They help themselves to whatever food I have whenever they come over, though. All of them. I try to keep lots on hand. Anything I especially want to eat, I disguise. They think I have a fondness for particularly stinky cheese, and I’m not about to disabuse them of that notion.

On this occasion, Sophie’s voice rang out, “Chicken pie! That’s even better than cookies. I’m starving.” She wandered back out, with a generous slice on one of my good dishes, her mouth already full.

“Not that I’m not glad to see you,” I said, “but to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?” I didn’t bother to mention she wasn’t using an everyday dish. I gave up that battle long ago.

She swallowed, and waved her fork airily, scattering pastry crumbs. “Oh, Mom’s started spring cleaning, so I thought I’d get out of there.”

“Didn’t it occur to you that your mom might want your help with the cleaning?” I asked.

“Sure! That’s why I left,” she chomped down on another forkful of pie. “I’ve cleaned enough for one day, and she’s nuts on the topic. No one will ever see the top of the cupboards.”

I let that pass, too, along with speaking with her mouth full. Her mother could teach her all of that. I was tired.

I was also not going to get any more knitting done. It was a new pattern that I hadn’t memorized yet, and counting stitches to follow written instructions was not going to be possible. I made a note of which row and stitch I was on, and folded the knitting neatly into the pattern, setting it aside for later, while Sophie polished off the pie.

When she was done, she licked the plate. Disgusting, but flattering in its way.

I got out some piecework to sew, while she mounted another raid on my pantry. She came back with a slice of cake, on the same plate. I suppose she thought it was “clean enough.”

She ate that without a word, while I sewed squares of bright cotton together with a quarter inch seam. Something was bothering her. If I didn’t push, she’d tell me what it was. I suspected that was the main reason for her visit, although avoiding housework had certainly played a part.

When the cake was gone, she got up without a word, went into the kitchen, washed the dish and fork, and put them in the rack to dry. Without being asked. Whatever was bugging her, it was bad.

Then she came back, reached into the work basket, and took out a block to sew. I keep them there, pinned together in order, for just such an occurrence. And my own convenience too, of course. She threaded a needle, and got to work.

Outside, the bees hummed around the window box, birds sang, and the creek chuckled to itself as it hurried to its eventual appointment with the sea. The only sound inside was the clock ticking.

I finished my nine-patch block, and started another. Sophie got the first three patches of hers sewn, and reached for the clapper board to set the seam.

“Grandnana, have you ever made a bad promise?”

“A bad promise?”

She sighed deeply. “Yeah. There’s this girl in my class at school. I don’t know her all that well. She doesn’t really have any friends, and I guess I felt sorry for more than anything else.”

She set the seams, and put the row aside, picking up the next two squares to sew. Not the way I’d do it. I sew all three rows before setting the seams. But her way would finish the block, and was only a little more work.

“Anyway, she asked if I’d help with a spell, and I said yes without asking what kind of spell it is.” She shook her curls away from her face, and looked up at me. “I know that was dumb, but I never thought it was going to be anything but a common, simple spell!”

“I take it that’s not what she wanted.”

Her mouth twisted, she looked back down, and jabbed the needle viciously into the cloth. “Not hardly. There is this new boy, called Mitt, who is really handsome. I mean, if you picture masculine handsomnimity, he’d be what you imagined. He’s rich, too. His Dad owns this big business or something. Anyway, they moved into that huge house on Chestnut, and he gets a ride to school in a limo with a chauffeur and everything.

“No one knows what he’s doing at our school. You’d expect him to be at a ritzy boarding school or something. Apparently he was, but his family missed him too much. Or maybe he wasn’t fully appreciated there. Or something. No one knows the real story.”

I could see where this was headed, but I waited for her to tell me.

“Anyway,” she dropped the sewing into her lap, heedless of the needle, and scrubbed her face with both hands. “This girl, Chrissy, decided she is in love with him. She wants help with a love spell. I tried to tell her she doesn’t know him. I tried to tell her how spells like that bind people, and it’s coercion and wrong, and how when the victim finds out, and he will, he will hate and resent you forever. I tried to explain how horrible it is to be bound to someone who hates and resents you.”

She dropped her hands, and grabbed her skirt, twisting it while staring at me with anguished eyes. “I tried every way I know, Grandnana, and she *still* insists she wants to do the spell!”

I reached over, and picked up the needle from her lap. She had missed running it into her hand by about half an inch. She glanced down as I did, saw how narrow her escape had been, and made a face.

“I don’t know what to do! I can’t let her do the spell, and she says she can’t anyway without my help. Her spells all fizzle, except the really simple ones.”

I used the needle to catch the patches she was sewing, and lifted them out of the way before she tangled the thread or did herself an injury. I put it back with the rest of that patch, and laid my own aside too. She just waited, looking at me with a tortured expression. Finally I said, “Then don’t help her.”

“But I gave my word!”

“You did. But you didn’t know what you were promising. Would you have promised if you had known?”

She shook her head violently, curls whipping everywhere. “No, never!”

“So promising was a mistake?”

“In the worst way! I wish like everything I’d asked her what spell, first!”

I nodded. “I’m sure you do. Would keeping that promise make the original mistake better, or worse?”

“Only about a quadrillion times worse!”

“Then break the promise.”

“But…. I thought breaking a promise is a horrible thing! You have to keep your word. It’s your honor and your bond!”

I reached out my arms, and she came and sat in my lap, great gangly girl that she is. I wrapped my arms around her, and held her close. “It is, honey bunch, and you must never break it simply because keeping it is inconvenient, or because you have found a different thing you would rather do, or because you are angry at the person you gave your word to, or afraid keeping it will be hard.

“But sometimes you find that it was a mistake to give your word in the first place. Sometimes, you’ll be coerced. Sometimes someone will lie about the circumstances, or about what they are asking for. Sometimes you simply won’t have all the information, like this time.

“In all those cases, and probably more, keeping your word will make a bad situation worse. When there is no good choice, always choose the path that will cause the least harm.”

She rested her head on my shoulder. “I’m going to go back and tell her I won’t help. She’ll tell everyone I broke my word, and people might hate me. But that’s better than helping to ruin two whole lives.”

I rocked her gently. “She might not tell anyone. Telling them will reveal the kind of spell she had planned. But if she does, even if you choose not to explain why, and you could certainly do that, people will get over it. They always do, eventually.”

She nodded, reached up, and kissed my cheek. “Thanks, Grandnana. I knew you would be able to help me.” As annoying as my family can be, they all know exactly how to  melt my heart.

I had just finished threading the ribbon through the cap for the newest baby when a little bird flew through my window.

It was Sophie again.

“Hi Grandnana!” She headed into the pantry. “Guess what! Oh! Donuts! Yumm!”

She came out, with a donut in each hand, spewing powdered sugar with every word. “You know that new boy I told you about? Mitt? Well…” She settled on the footstool, and looked up at me, eyes glowing, “It turns out he was expelled from that fancy school for ‘excessive cruelty’.” She put half a donut in her mouth, and chewed with great satisfaction. “He was caught torturing a puppy,” she scowled fiercely, “can you imagine? They took it away, and it’s going to be okay, and it has new owners now.” Her face cleared, and she popped the other half of the donut into her mouth. “But it turns out he’s just as mean and nasty as he can be, and he’s been expelled from our school, too.” She finished the other donut in three bites, and licked her fingers.

“Chrissy told me she is *so* glad that I didn’t help her with that love spell. Can you imagine being bound to someone like that? And she says she’s swearing off compulsion spells for life.”

She wiped her hands on her skirt, and gave me a very satisfied look. “So that turned out better than I expected! I’m so happy I came to you!” She hopped up, and went back into the pantry. “Ewww. There’s that horrible cheese again. Got any roast beef?”

I’m glad she came over too. And I’m glad she doesn’t like stinky cheese. I’m planning to have that leftover beef for my supper.

Picture Attribution; IMG_1878-333 by Nigel Used under a Creative Commons 2Generic License. Resized, but no other changes made.

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One of Those Days

The news has been really discouraging for the last little while. I’m so very, very tired of all the bias and judgement. So yesterday I wrote a tiny little piece of flash-fiction, and I’m posting it today, even though it’s not Saturday. Hope you like it!

It’s been one of those days. Do you ever have them? I’m achy and cranky, and I can’t settle to doing anything.
From the time I crawled out of my warm little nest this morning, all I’ve wanted to do is crawl back in.
I can’t even decide what gender to be, or what skin color, or age, or orientation or anything.
Usually I have a hard time deciding because every choice limits the rainbow of possibilities. If I pick a middle aged straight man, I can’t skip down the street no matter how much I feel like skipping. If I decide to be a 7 year old mixed race girl with a mass of curly red hair, I can skip, but I can’t buy lunch without people calling Social Services. If I settle on an androgynous teenager, I can get lunch, and probably even skip, but what will I do if I need to pee before I get home?
You know how it is.
But today, I can’t make up my mind because everything I can think of comes with more responsibility, or more hassles, than I want to deal with.
If I choose a large black gay man, white women are likely to pull their children out of my path. If I choose to be a straight Latino cis female, then I have to watch every word, and put up with endless nonsense, just to let my hair flow and wear a pretty dress and strappy sandals. I could be an old woman, not a young one, and become pretty much invisible; but not if I wanted to wear that dress and sandal combo. People would frown, and think I was behaving inappropriately.
Usually, when I feel overwhelmed by it all, I just go as a nondescript white male of indeterminate age. That seems to be the default in the culture I’m currently studying, so it’s easy to blend in and not be noticed. But the thing about that is you have to be strong, and can’t cry. And I feel like I might burst into tears at any moment.
I’ve been standing in front of the Wardrobe, dithering.
I could be homeless. Homeless people are invisible, and can cry or even talk to themselves without anyone giving them a second glance. But if I go out like that, I’ll have to stay out all day. Homeless people can’t step into a store or other public place, even though they are more in need of them than anyone.
I nearly just gave up and crawled back into my nest, but reports are due next week, and I’m behind. I can’t afford to waste a full day.
I need to find something that will let me go out in public, and just be however I feel like being at the moment, without anyone judging me, or attacking me, or barring me from participation in society.
Just something that everyone will treat with kindness, dignity, and respect.
Got any ideas?

Picture Attribution; Unity in Diversity by fady habib Used under a Creative Commons 2Generic License. Resized and lightly cropped on the top and bottom, to fit this format.