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Creatures of Fear previewA song was heard from outside. It lifted the very air, making the wind blow and the sun shine.
"Alrethia, stop singing that awful song! You do know it's about the living becoming a blood-feasting monster." a small boy complained.
"But it is the only song that actually sounds good!" Alrethia complained right back.
"You mean it's the only one Mother will let you sing," he snorted.
"Oh, come on Darius. You know it is as delightful to you as it is to me."
"That doesn't mean I sing it everywhere I go."
The girl's eyes brightened. "I told you that it was good!"
A voice rang from inside a hut, "Alrethia, Darius! We need more flour!"
Alrethia rolled her eyes and walked over to a boulder. She shoved her hand inside a small crevice and pulled out a coin. "Come, Darius. Mother is counting on us to get more flour for tonight!"
Darius laughed, ringing like silver bells, causing the trees to laugh as well, and their leaves to shake.
They joined arms and skipped to the grocer. Their brown loafers bou
Teenage TaoismGiving birth is the closest I’d ever felt to dying.
Before that, my near death experiences had consisted only of my silent announcement of pregnancy—silent, being that my social media accounts were all deleted almost simultaneously and I never returned to school in the fall, saying without really saying that I had caught the malicious disease of “teenage pregnancy”. I’m sure the whisper spread in the hallways like the Bubonic Plague. That September, sitting at home on what would have been the first day of my senior year, I imagined friends I’d never talk to again saying “she was only seventeen, and so full of life!” at my absence in the cafeteria tables, as if they were attending my funeral instead of talking about me behind my back.
"Full of life," I had snorted then, folding a never ending stream of what had once been my own baby clothes. "Literally."
I walked around like a zombie for the months of my pregnancy, deciding t
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