I just need my dog and a good book.
Which Character from Disney's Encanto Are You?
“SEVEN FOOT FRAME, RATS ALONG HIS BACK!” I sing this line at the top of my lungs at least six times a day since I listen to Disney’s Encanto soundtrack whenever I’m cooking or doing dishes. The count would be higher, but I never wake up in time to cook breakfast. Less dishes for me to clean. Anyways, now that you have this banger stuck in your head let’s come talk about Bruno and the rest of the Madrigals.
The rafters of the modest home groaned softly, almost in perfect harmony with the groans of the woman pulling on the shawl hanging from them. Her black hair was damp, sticking to her neck and shoulders due to the perspiration oozing from every pore. Her small frame awkwardly cradled a full-term pregnancy belly that ballooned out as she squatted in the hammock, bracing herself for the next contraction and pushing as hard as she could. She squeezed so tightly that her normally smooth face was suddenly marred by wrinkles as her facial muscles contracted with the rest of her body, her efforts fruitless.
A Letter To My Childhood Bully
Dear You, I thought I had forgotten about you, along with all the memories created by my anxious nine-year-old mind, and yet a glance at your name from my peripheral vision was enough to startle me, like a doe caught in headlights. I hadn’t thought about you for over ten years, ever since the last time I saw you get off of the bus, and never return to our school to torment me again. I didn’t need memories of you, I was barely going to make it to my statistics test, so I shuffled past the name, trying to convince myself that it couldn’t be. I probably read it wrong anyway.
Dante, The DestRUFFer
The Starbucks drive through line crept slowly forward as I wiped away tears. I had driven over from the animal shelter in defeat as I had failed yet again to adopt a white German Shepherd dog. I had actively been trying to adopt one for over a year from various rescues. After no response from several, one who had already been adopted, and one who said no because “I lacked experience” (I guess you have to have a GSD before your first GSD, even though I had experience with other large breeds), I figured my only options were to scour the city shelters, or to look for a breeder. As I am a firm believer in adopt don’t shop, and as I also didn’t have $5,000 laying around, I opted for the first option.
Dr. Beckett silently surveyed the fading ink scrawled on a piece of parchment; it was one of many stacked tidily next to him on the leather seat of the car. The stack possessed the extensive medical secrets of a once well-respected family, respected to the point of veneration. The type of veneration that was bought by wealth, seduced by beauty, and celebrated with lavish masquerade balls where pining poets would sigh at the figures swathed in lace and silk. Figures that would later sway and twirl across their pages in moonlit stanzas written by zealous fingers. The ink would still be glistening on the parchment when impotence and dismay would grip the poets' hearts as they realized that their paths were never destined to intertwine with those of the dancing figures that belonged to the LeBlanc family tree. Or so it was told. Many generations had come and gone; the wealth had been squandered and the beauty had faded into a mist of mysterious maladies and afflictions.
The Madonna of the Frozen Lake
On Sunday mornings, Detective Audrey Jones could be found sipping her morning coffee while reading the newspaper. It may seem strange that she would read a paper copy in the modern age of technology, but she enjoyed the texture of the paper between her fingers. She also liked to sniff them, before they reached their final destination at the bottom of her cat’s litter box. The scent of bacon, eggs, and pancake batter hovered in her kitchen as she poured water into her Keurig to prepare this particular Sunday’s brew. While the coffee pitter pattered into her favorite mug, she admired the view outside her kitchen window. In between the shadows cast by the snow laden pine trees, the rays of the morning sun gave the coating of snow in her backyard a rosy tint. Icicles dripped from the branches of the tree where they refracted the golden rays, causing them to glimmer and glow. “No need for a Christmas tree.” She murmured to her Russian Blue cat as he stretched lazily while ignoring her. Taking her breakfast platter and coffee to the table, she finally glanced at the newspaper. The bold headline read “The Madonna of the Frozen Lake” followed by a forensic facial reconstruction of a young woman who could have been used to adorn the stained-glass windows of any catholic church. Detective Jones snorted as she read the overly embellished story romanticizing the discovery of the woman’s remains. These journalists would stretch any truth if it meant more reads. From what she remembered of the crime scene; the body had been found in a dirty frozen pond off of a bumpy country backroad in the woods, not some frozen lake next to a castle worthy of a princess. Even in death, women weren’t allowed to be ugly.
The soft ticking of a large austere clock hanging on the wall was the only indication that time was moving forward. It was almost perfectly synchronized with the almost inaudible ticking of the silver Rolex on Dylan Drake's left wrist. Dylan, however, was in the same position he had been since 8 AM. Sitting erect at his computer, his hands on the keyboard, eyes unblinking, and mouth set into an expressionless line. His only movement came from his fingers that whizzed over the keys. Their clicking harmonizing with the ticking melody. Finally, he broke eye contact with his computer screen and glanced down at the marine blue face of his watch. If it were not for his watch informing him of the date and time, Dylan wouldn't know the difference between any of his identical days. It had been three years ago that Dylan had arrived on Wall Street, hungry for something new that he would be bored of within a year. That was how Dylan Drake was, nothing held his interest for too long, and yet he performed impeccably. None of his superiors had ever complained. Locking his computer, he grabbed his leather briefcase and headed to the elevators.
Of Marigolds and Memories
The tattoo needle danced across Catrina’s skin, leaving behind a swirl of orange yellow ink mixed with droplets of blood. She took a quick glance at the tattoo artist, awed that she had finally been able to secure an appointment. The artist was a slim young woman with straight, waist length, raven black hair, and a heart shaped face upon which she wore black cat eye glasses. She was a travelling artist, who had quickly gained fame for her exquisite work. The artist lifted the tattoo machine to wipe away some of the blood before proceeding. Catrina felt the needle return directly on her rib and she internally winced. No way was she going to move an inch and risk ruining the artwork. Catrina also noticed the artist had no visible tattoos which she found a little odd as she quickly ran through previous artists she had interacted with. “No tattoos?” she asked, finally breaking the silence. “Nah, I prefer to be the artist not the artwork.” she replied. “I imagine it’s hard to decide on a permanent piece when you’ve seen as much art as you have.” The artist remained quiet for a minute before she replied “Nothing is truly permanent.” Wasn’t that the truth, Catrina thought to herself. Two hours under the needle later and the piece was finally done. The artist handed her a piece of paper and said “Here, follow these care instructions.” Catrina put the paper in her purse as she exited the shop.