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There’s no running from demons.
Granny Weaver

Lying in wait, the demon hugs his glee.
Nearby, in the black water, swims a serpent heavy with death
The girl lying in bed struggles in dream
The mourners weep, sealing the silence
Lost among the flowers

The willow feasted on evil and became poison.
The oak reached deep into the earth and became love.

A child’s fate lies somewhere in between.

It takes a resolute girl
To go a resolute way.
To keep a strong heart
As she walks into the dark
And never runs away.

Green is the Color of My True Love’s Heart

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“Merriam, you cannot use magic to subvert Alexa. You might cause confusion and chaos all over the world,” scolded Susannah Stewart.

Merriam-Webster: indifference: not concerned about something

“You are letting your ego and hurt feelings get the better of you. You are not like this. That podcast is no threat to you.”

Merriam-Webster: replaced: to take the place of

“You are a very silly dictionary. You are not being replaced. That podcast may be exploiting your name, but all of us who love you know you can never be replaced.”

Merriam-Webster: worried: mental distress, anxiety

“It’s all right. You are who you have always been, smart, knowledgeable, and devoted.”

Merriam-Webster: irreplaceable: too unique to be replaced

“Exactly.”

Merriam-Webster: number one: first in importance

“That’s you. Now promise to stay away from Alexa, and we’ll go get cookies.”

Merriam-Webster: promise: pledge

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Merriam-Webster could not believe his ears. He had heard a mellifluous voice from within Harmony’s bedroom say,

It’s Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for January 17th.

What was Word of the Day? He had thousands of words. Why would he pick only one to use for a day?

Susannah Stewart had tried to reason with him. “It’s a podcast. Each day, they pick a word and give the meaning, history, and interesting facts.”

Merriam-Webster: imposter: a person who deceives others by pretending to be someone else

Merriam’s indignation knew no bounds. Something must be done.

But what?

This story of Merriam versus the podcast is a drabble — “a form of microfiction with all the story elements of conventional fiction jammed into exactly 100 words.”

In her story, Little Peach, Carolyn Hastings offers a charming example of a drabble and further information about the literary form.

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“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.” Rainer Maria Rilke

Where have I hidden?
Lost in times past, absences
Yearning for the greens
Of long ago bright springtimes
When my world and I were new.

Susannah Stewart said, “Merriam, I can’t find our author. She’s left me hanging on the edge of doom, and I’m getting impatient. She hasn’t been in her office for days.”

Merriam-Webster: hedgehog: spiny mammal

“Good idea. I’ll talk to Henry, her writing assistant.

“I got the scoop from Henry. Susannah MacKinnie is in the Christmas to New Year doldrums. It’s her Slough of Despond.”

“It’s because it’s too dark and winter and she’s an introverted, misanthropic recluse who has trouble communicating at the best of times.”

“He says by tomorrow, she will pull herself out of her shell and start writing again.”

“I can hardly wait.”