From the Keyboard

Mirror, Mirror


Miranda didn’t trust her mirrors so she crawled out of herself for an objective look. It was a nasty trip, through a tight network of brain worms, past the eyes, down the nose. If she had known the route was going to be so twisted and sticky, she would not have worn her cocktail shoes, as they kept sinking into all sorts of matter, and getting tripped up by hairs that wound around her stilettos.

When she finally made it through, and slid down her upper lip to the floor, an unexpectedly swift and treacherous fall due to high gloss lipstick, she looked up and took stock of her appearance.

It did not impress her.

So she turned to flee only to trip on a mule and fall flat on her back.

The standing Miranda, who was in the process of preparing for a night out, stepped forward to grab a clutch, and promptly impaled her supine self on a heel, whereupon she was possessed by such an inexplicable sense of relief, that she removed her shoes and tossed them in the trash.

©2017 All Rights Reserved


Drawing by Sir John Tenniel

Before the hare, before the hole, before the twisted dream, there was the door, its hinges greased, its frame petite, its contents undisclosed.

Was she deceived? Did she believe the world beyond would match its portal’s size?

Or was she innocent despite a yen for change? The waistcoat, watch, and steep descent? The rabbit’s warning cry? Potion’s shrinking power?

Too late, I fear, too late.

How soon until we wake?

©2017 All Rights Reserved









I have my favorites: cicadas, which are big and noisy and easily confused into slapstick maneuvers when they occasionally wind up indoors; moths, which must be escorted out before they head for the closet to multiply; spiders, which eat mosquitoes that sneak inside for pre-dawn attacks; crickets, which like to show off by leaping into laundry baskets; and, of course, ladybugs.

I’m told they’re good luck.

When I can, I catch them or coax them onto a tissue or piece of paper and set them free in the yard. When I can’t, I mostly ignore them and hope they’ll leave me alone.

But a couple of nights ago I dropped one of those sweet little beetles as I was transporting it from my nightstand to the window. Unfortunately, it dropped on the wooden floor, and, well, at night, with bad eyes, under poor lighting, I couldn’t find it.

All night long I was half between waking and sleeping, expecting to be roused by the sensation of mini bug feet on my forehead. (Flashback to me at the age of seven, awakening to the scratch of parakeet claws on my brow. No matter how my parents “fixed” the door on his cage, he always found a way out, always in the middle of the night.) But it never happened. And so, I rolled out of bed at 6:30, sleep-deprived, reaching for the pill I take every morning—always set out the night before, popping it mindlessly into my mouth, washing it down with a few swigs of water, and starting my day.


It’s funny how many of our routine movements are on automatic, done unconsciously.

Take locking the door for instance. How many times have you been thinking of something else while you’re locking the door, and then get into your car and wonder whether or not you locked it?

Anyway, after replacing the lid on the pill box, making the bed, and getting dressed, I got involved in everything else I had to do, propelled by vast amounts of coffee.

By midnight, I was ready to crash, and dragged upstairs to change and set out my pill for the next morning.

Except when I opened the box, the ladybug was sitting smack in the center of it…

And I could swear it smiled.

©2017 All Rights Reserved

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