Morgan Rhianna Bland
I'm an aroace brain AVM survivor from Tennessee. My illness left me unable to live a normal life with a normal job, so I write stories to earn money.
Sins of the Father: part 1
The cabin in the woods had been abandoned for years, but one night, a candle burned in the window. The cabin had been in the family for generations, tucked deep within the woods behind our house like a dirty little secret. It came with the property when my great-great grandfather bought it over 125 years ago. All my life, the cabin had been off-limits. My parents wouldn’t tell me why. Whenever I asked, all they would say was that it was too dangerous. I never understood until the one time I decided to break that rule.
A Tale of Two Father FIgures
“All I wanted was to be loved for myself.” That is a quote from The Phantom of the Opera, and it’s something that every human being wants. We want to believe that our society is a caring, accepting place, and it is for some of us, namely those whose true self aligns with social norms. But what about the rest of us, the Phantoms of this world who look, think, or act in a way that defies convention?
Under the Dragon's Wing
There weren't always dragons in the valley. One day they just appeared there, as if out of nowhere. No one knew why or where they came from. The valley was surrounded by a ring of magical fire. Deep red flames flickered and flared but never died even in driving rain or biting cold, flames that never spread to the woods surrounding the valley or the village on the other side. An ever-present burgundy glow marred the village’s otherwise drab horizon, a tantalizing reminder of a mystery unsolved.
A Mother By Choice
Just for the record, I really hate this prompt! When one has no mother and is not a mother, Mothers’ Day is nothing but a bad reminder of all one has lost. Writing about my mother or even thinking about her reopens too many wounds, dredges up too many memories, invites too many tears and too many emotions better left buried. And I can’t put myself through that when the only way I’ve stayed alive and functional for as long as I have is by staying emotionless.
Empty Promises: part 1
We don’t talk about Titanic. That was the number one rule I had for my daughters. The elder two, Jane and Lucille, followed it with no trouble, for they were old enough to remember that night and just as reluctant to speak of it as the rest of us. Anne, my youngest and the only one born after the disaster, was… different. It was as if she and that ship were connected from the moment she was born. I suppose I should’ve seen it coming when she, in an ironic twist of fate, came into this world on the one year anniversary of the sinking.
Just a Doll
When we think of giving back, we tend to think of donating outrageous amounts of money to charities, running long races to raise awareness for a cause, or attending fundraiser events alongside hundreds of other people. Not everyone has the means to contribute in one of those ways, and for those who don’t, giving back can seem daunting. But giving back doesn’t have to involve some grand, dramatic gesture, as I’ve recently learned firsthand. Sometimes giving back is as simple as a kind smile or a passing compliment. It can even be something as seemingly trivial as just a doll.
Dear Dearly Departed
I hardly know how to write this letter because it defies expectations in every manner, and if you knew me better, you’d know that I don’t like failing to meet expectations. This contest’s expectations are to write about a hometown hero. Society’s expectations are that this person should be a family member, friend, teacher, pastor, first responder, even a celebrity or fictional character. Even I expected that I would write about one of those people. I tried to write about those people, only to hit a wall every time as memories of those people dredged up emotions best kept locked away.
The Owl's Protection: Part 1
“Happy birthday, Grandma!” Six-year-old Lily stood beside the leather recliner, bouncing on the balls of her feet as she waited for Grandma to open her present. Inside the large wrapped box was a sculpted owl clock that Lily’s mom and dad found at one of the mall department stores, but the owl beanie baby that decorated the top of the box in place of a bow was Lily’s idea.
The Stone Princess: Prologue
There were many rumors about The Stone Kingdom. Some said its ruler went mad and turned her subjects into stone. Some said her most trusted advisor framed her. Some said her incompetence brought a curse upon the kingdom. Some said she tried to stop a great threat but wasn’t strong enough. Whatever the truth was, every version of the tale could agree on three things. There was a kingdom in which the inhabitants, including its ruler, turned to stone. The ruins of The Stone Kingdom were located in the woods outside the small town, and no one who entered The Stone Kingdom ever came back.