A fun-sized story for people in a hurry

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She was alone and liked it.

Susannah Stewart was highly indignant at Merriam-Webster’s response to her six-word story. He had sniffed dismissively and said.

dinky: unattractively small

She said, “You don’t understand ambiguity and understatement, Merriam. …

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After his son died, Raleigh Stewart, bit by bit, lost his own life while everyone else moved on.

His wife focused on Susannah, their newly orphaned granddaughter. His friends returned to their concerns. Finally, the Hart family, as his grieving continued, quietly took over running the farm.

It did cheer him to watch Susannah, not yet one, battle the controlling women.

Not a honey, not a sweeties!….. Will do it myself.

But he remembered his son’s last words to him, and he feared for her.

Slowly his life narrowed to daily sojourns to Vern’s Tavern and lonesome hours sitting in the garden.

Then one day, as he sat on his favorite bench, he heard an indignant Scottish brogue. “Are you not ready to stop moping your days away and aid me in this garden?”

That was the first time he saw the Brownie.

But it would not be the last.


Hidden deep within

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Though lovers be lost, love shall not.

Dylan Thomas

A woman’s choosing
Rejection of rejection
Flight, transformation

Fearing the uncertain future, I remember the sorrows of the past.

Always she led and always I followed.

We would chase each other through the woodland, laughing and transforming, tree to dryad…


Pickin’ and grinnin’

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This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.

Pete Seeger, talking about his banjo

In Australia, there was a frog, and Banjo was his name oh!
and Banjo was his name oh. *

Grand Ole Opry stage
Rhythm harmony melody
Bluegrass at its best
Doc Watson plays claw hammer


But where will it lead

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Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

“Merriam, do you know the scariest part of Sleeping Beauty?” asked Susannah Stewart.

Merriam-Webster: Prince Charming: a man of often deceptive charm toward women.

Susannah smiled, then said, “No, smarty-britches, I’m serious.”

“It’s that…

The Fortune Teller | New Mexico, May 1906

Grandmother Spider, Kokopelli, and I

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Dance like nobody’s watching.

Satchel Paige

Deep in the canyon
The Hunter’s moon rises high
A wild coyote howls
The Trickster playing his flute
Mischief maker, my heart sings

I dance by the fire
Grandmother Spider laughing
Joyous she dances
Shadows on the cliff sides watch
Brooding on the age long gone

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Merriam, you won’t believe what I found out,” said Susannah Stewart.

“Harmony and Dissonance and Grandmother Iline are part of a modern day version of The Underground Railroad that has a main stop here in Haven, Tennessee. Only this one helps women and children escape abusive situations.”

“They only told me because I meddled and misjudged how violent Mr. Arnold might get and had to ask the three of them for help. He was gonna hurt Mrs. Arnold and the kids because she was trying to get away from him. I oughta understand meanness better by now.”

“Anyhow, it turns out inspector detectors can be heroes, too.”

“Maybe I don’t know as much as I think I do,” Susannah admitted sadly.

Merriam-Webster: absolutely: used in speech as a forceful way of expressing agreement

Wait long enough, and people will surprise and impress you.

Randy Pausch

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Anansi could feel the pull of the curse, though he had laughed scornfully at the warning Grandmother Spider had repeated from La Catrina.

Mistress, the others are afraid of the trickster man. He has fallen under an evil spell. He has become one who would eat a child trapped in his web and leave the bones to whiten in the sun…. The Sculptor

But who could have done this to him?

And why do it? Surely Susannah Stewart was not that important. He had been half-joking when he said,

Oh yes, she has Po-ten-tial. Before long, she won’t be stopping at seeing and touching the inside of things. She gonna go deeper.

Perhaps Granny Weaver might help. He would go to see her right now.

He was thinking about how he could save himself and the girl when the darkness pulled him under again.

Susannah MacKinnie

Lover of collages, quilts, vignettes, and tone poem journals.

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