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Monthly Archives: October 2012

a Monkey

“Why don’t we have wings?” Baby Monkey asked his Mama while Dorothy cried for her lost Toto on the TV.

“Because we’re domesticated monkeys,” Mama answered as she perused the morning paper’s coupons. “Only Hollywood monkeys have wings.”

“But why are they so special?”

Annoyed that Baby was interrupting her “Mama” time, she snipped, “Because they found a magic hat that gave them wings, and they all flew to Hollywood since that’s the only place where people would think flying monkeys have potential.”

“What’s potential?”

“Oh, Baby, ask your father when he gets home from work! Mama’s busy. Go watch your TV and leave me alone to finish my reading.”

Baby Monkey crept to the TV. Dorothy had stopped sobbing. She was on a mission to save Toto with her unusual friends. Baby was still thinking about the winged monkeys. And their magic hat. What if he could find a magic hat? Would it give him wings, too?

Moments later, Baby Monkey rummaged through his parents’ closet, tossing every hat box and cap he could find into their room. One by one, he placed each and every hat atop his head and studied his reflection to check for wings. The fedora showed promise, but it didn’t follow through. Neither did the baseball cap. Or the ski cap.

A dozen hats and not one produced magical results. Baby slumped on the floor and pouted. The winged monkeys must have taken all the magic with them, and now there was none left for him. He was stuck in a boring domesticated monkey’s body. That was no fun.

Downstairs, Dorothy and her Toto were reunited and flying home to Kansas in a hot-air balloon. Baby Monkey glared sullenly at the screen until he couldn’t bear to watch her say there’s no place like home one more time. He picked up the remote and left Dorothy’s black and white world.

At the next channel, a whirl of color caught his eye. He saw a spectacle unlike anything he’d ever seen. Lean bodies twirling and flying through the air without the help of wings to propel them. The figures flew with their hands and legs. “Cirque du Soleil,” an invisible man announced on the TV.

Baby sneaked a glance at his tail, hands, and feet.

Maybe he didn’t need wings after all…


– Written on October 27, 2012



To my alter-ego, the reporter asked: Ms. Gray, if you could be a superhero, what special power would you have?

To which my alter-ego answered: Ms. Lawson, many others may tell you they’d like x-ray vision or the ability to fly, be invisible, fight crime. If I could be a superhero, I’d want the power to cure unhappiness and depression. With a simple touch on one’s arm or shoulder, or even a hug, I would erase the sufferer’s mental anguish and afflictions. I’d dash into hospitals, offices, and homes and reach for those ailed by sadness; their misery would be lifted, and they would see new reasons to live. I’d hold the stranger on the corner who contemplates ending her life, and she’d walk away with new convictions to breathe, love, and embrace happiness. I’d pull the man who stands in front of an oncoming train away from the tracks that will take him nowhere; he would hear his child’s laugh and see hope in their future. No longer would discontent and unending sadness drive anyone I encountered to drastic measures which tragically ends their lives and spreads the poison of their sadness and despair into the blood of those who loved them. My fingers would drive a current into their souls which illuminated all of those who love and cherish them in the present, so they could see they are more than the confines of their psyche. By relinquishing them of unhappiness, they would be free to experience and appreciate joy, to feel love and loved, and to look for hope in the obstacles which once chained them to the ground. By eradicating depression, many would be cured of the toxins which ail and cripple them. More people would treat each other with open kindness and feelings of goodwill. Less and less would be trapped in the darkest recesses of their minds. Suicide would disappear.

One who cures these things and eradicates them from mankind – that is the ultimate Super Hero, for what I would aspire.


– Written by Miss A on October 21, 2012. In memory of Carey W. Tolbert (1980-2012).

a Curse

Can you tell me how the curse began?

No, no one knows that.

No one?

No one.

Well, that doesn’t make sense. Someone has to know when the curse started.

Oh, we know when the curse started. We just don’t know how it began.

Okay, smart ass. When did the curse start?

When she walked into the forest.

When who walked into the forest?

The veiled lady. She wore all black. You remember her, don’t you?

Elinora, the woman in mourning?

Yes, that’s the one. She mourned her dead family for six and a half years. And then she walked into the forest. And that is when the curse began.

You think Elinora started the curse?

I didn’t say that.

But you suggest it. By saying it started when she walked into the forest, you’re implying she had something to do with it.

No, it all might be coincidental. However, I think it’s odd the bones started to appear when she ventured into the trees, never to be heard from again.

What do you mean? She still lives in that house, the giant mansion on Roland Street.

That’s what she wants us to think. Have you seen her? Heard from her? She has not walked these streets in three years!

My cousin carries groceries to that house every Monday. He leaves them on the porch. When he returns each week, the ones he left on the previous trip are always gone.

She wants us to think she’s still human.

Oh, come on now. You’re being silly.

Am I? How do you explain all the bones?

I don’t know. That’s why I called you here.

And why is that? Why call me here if you doubt me?

Because I think you know more about the bones than you let on.

What gives you a reason to think that?

The bones.

The bones? What about the bones?

We found the pile in the crawl space under your house. Blanketed with a thin, black veil.


– Written by Miss A on October 15, 2012

“Enchanted Forest” by Allegra Newman
Mixed Media on Matte board
Created for “To the Power of N, Where N=12”


White lies

Today I’ll pretend we stand on common ground

Extend our fingers and brush a truce

I’ll say you’re pretty

You’ll say I make you smile

We’ll tell ourselves the anger and resentment is gone


We loved each other,

Still do.


The bite marks, pulled hair, kicks and punches

Our symbols of affection, black opal bruises

Ruby tears of blood, tatted lace scratches

They made us beautiful once

We think they’ll do it again


Messiness was fun,

Still is.


We’ll build the make-believe castle from hay

Make boasts about the princes who will come

Fall madly in love with each other’s dreams

I’ll wish the best upon your star

You’ll blow good luck kisses to mine


Fairy tale mind games

Still lie.

– Written by Miss A on October 9, 2012


I saw a ghost once, in the watchtower.

It stared back at me and waved.

I wondered if it was friendly like Casper. Casper would have smiled when he waved. This ghost didn’t smile. It watched me with dormant eyes and a grim line drawn across its mouth.

The past made it sad, something I could understand. It’s hard looking back on things you can’t change, even more so when you’re dead. The living are afforded the chance to amend their ways, forgive trespasses, embrace joy. Ghosts are chained to their reflections and forever haunted by regret.

I’m not going to be a ghost, I decided.

I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned.

Ghosts have a tendency to sneak up behind you, almost always when you least expect them.


– Written by Miss A October 6, 2012