Short Story: Mend It

I kept seeing her stare at me the whole night. She was beautiful, but she wouldn’t smile. So I didn’t talk to her. She creeped me out a little bit, but how dangerous could a tiny brunette girl, sipping on a cocktail be? So I just ordered more liquor and carried on with his friends.

Monday morning I kept seeing her everywhere. Outside my bedroom window, in the rear view mirror on my way to work, cleaning in my office building. But she kept disappearing, so I thought I was going crazy. Lunch break came around and as soon as I got to my car, she came out of nowhere and stuck my arm with a needle. I was suddenly unable to speak or move. She took my keys and shoved me into the passenger’s side of my own car. I don’t know how long we were driving or how many turns we took, but we ended up in the middle of nowhere. There was no car, person, or even a tree for miles.
“There’s something about being outside in the afternoon in the burning heat that puts me at ease. I love the way the sun feels on my skin.”

I could feel myself starting to regain some control over myself. I could talk again, but I still couldn’t move. “What do you want? Why did you bring me here?”

She caresses my face. “You have kind eyes.”

“No one’s ever told me that. I’m not really a kind person.”

“No, but your eyes are kind. Are you feeling better?”

“Yes. Are you going to let me go back to work now?”

She stared at me again, with a blank expression, then the blank expression twisted. This wild smile replaced it as she ran at me, crammed freshly manicured nails into my eyeballs. When I screamed for my life, she sang to me, “There’s a hole in my bucket dear Liza, dear Liza. There’s a hole in my bucket dear Liza a hole.” She left me there, alone and in agony. No one found me for two days. Eventually, I stopped screaming.


“Where did you go, Alvah? You didn’t meet me for lunch today.”

“I met someone, with kind eyes and I sang to him.”

“No Alvah!” He ran to check her room and found a new pair of green eyeballs in a jar still attached to their rectus’s. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath and, “10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1.” One more deep breath.

“Did anyone see you?”

“They never do.”

“And the evidence is gone?”


“All except a man with no eyes, who can probably describe you perfectly.”

“There are lots of brunette’s with brown eyes out there.”

“Why do you keep doing this?”

“He had kind eyes.”

I was shaking now. She was doing so good. She hadn’t attacked anyone in weeks. I thought she was over her morbid outbursts. It was time I spoke the truth. I know I should have turned her in when she had her first violent outbreak. But I couldn’t. She is my sister and I’ve been all she’s had since she was eleven and we finally ran away from dad. “No, he had green eyes, like dad.”

Through clenched teeth, she says, “We have no dad.”

“Yes, we do. He is the tall man with green eyes that we met when you were ten. He is the man who hit you and burned you with cigarettes.”

She grabs a jar of eyeballs and chunks it at him. “He was not our dad!!!” She keeps throwing them. I have pushed her too far. Covered in broken glass and blood that I wasn’t sure was mine, I sobbed. She stopped, sinks beside me, caresses my face and sings, “There’s a hole in my bucket dear Liza, dear Liza. There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza a hole.”

“Why do you sing that song when I cry?”

Looking at her, I knew she was diving into a memory that I was not a part of. She smiled.


That crazy child was at it again. The only one-year-old at the daycare that literally tries to gouge kids eyes out? She goes up to the youngest and leaves these red welts on her dark skin right by her eyes. The daycare worker is changing a diaper can’t leave a kid on the changing table. “Alvah! Use soft touch.” She says.

“Soooooft.” She says slowly touching the screaming child’s arm. “Freakin sociopath.” She mutters under my breath.

The caregiver gets done, picks up the terrified child and sings. “There’s a hole in my bucket dear Liza, dear Liza. There’s a hole in my bucket dear Liza a hole….”


“Do you know the rest of the song?”

Then mend it dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry. Then mend it, dear Henry, dear Henry then mend.

She jumped up and started cleaning up the eyes and putting them sloppily in bags. “What are you doing?”

“I have to mend them!” She was crying now.


“She was headed outside with them. “No! Alvah! You’re going to get caught!!!”

“I have to mend them!”

I tackled her, but she had already opened the door, the contents of her bag went flying. I was still fighting with her when the cops showed up.

“Dr. Phillips?” I knew this cop.

“I just- I had to protect my sister. I’m all she has.” I cried submitting to the cuffs and the angry look.

Next to me, my sister is screaming and violently crying “I have to mend them!! I have to mend them!!!”
All I could do was whisper, “It’ll be okay Alvah. It’ll be okay.”


Poetry: Linger

So it’s late and we have class in the morning.
But we are entirely too busy to sleep.
We are having a very important 2:00 a.m. conversation.

Our topic? Wal mart men.
We talk about the those starring men in the chip isle.
We wonder if they know they are creepy.
Figured maybe we should make them understand their level scary.

So we hatch half of a dumb plan that never happened.
We’re going to dress up like guys, ugly guys,
go to Wal mart and stare at creepy men.
We would walk behind them and lick our lips like we wanted a bite.

We linger there and laugh and laugh.
And we know we are not alone.
Thank God we are not alone.
So there’s this house that we go to every week for lunch.
And for after lunch when we linger there,
Waiting for conversations, or for someone to burst into song,

We are all each other’s definition of strange.
And no one knows how some of these people got here,
But here we are laughing and talking about everything, but mostly relationships.
Everyone wants to know who’s getting married next.

When they finally find a couple,
They try and guess what your kids will look like.
Some would say they are moving people too fast.
But we let them have their fun.

We linger there with all the colors of people around the table.
And we know we are not alone.
Thank God we are not alone.
My sister, Granny, and I stay up until 3:00 a.m.
We had much to say.
So as tired as we are, we linger longer.

We talk about the valley that our family has made its home.
How hard it is to climb out of a valley,
While dodging lying bullets and flaming arrows forged in trauma.
We carry injured mothers, brothers, sisters, and sons on our backs.

We are half carrying each other.
We tell each other, “We will make it to the place where God will heal us.”
We say, “These injured bodies we carry are not heavier than we are strong.”
We say, “These bullets and arrows will not stop us.”

We linger there resurrecting Hope.
And we remember we are not alone.
Thank God we are not alone.

Thank you so much for reading!  If you would like to support my fabulous writing skills go ahead and click on the pendant!  I will earn a small percentage of the sale!  Also don’t forget to like, follow, and share!   I appreciate the love!  – Acacia

Poetry: Sit Still

How strange is forgiveness?

That every day there is someone who needs forgiving.

How depressed are we,

That we just ache ourselves to murder.

You would think we’d be too tired to move.

But we don’t just lay there,

We kill through the pain.

And we don’t know how to stop.

With each movement,

a gut-wrenching pain shoots up our spine,

around to our bellies,

down our legs,

and up our arms.

But we cannot stop swinging machetes.

And I hate it when Christian’s talk about forgiveness,

Like it’s a switch you turn on.

Like they just expect you to let it go…

Right now.

Like it’s not me cutting my own heart open

with a dull, rusty scalpel,

And digging out all the hate there.

There is enough hate there to turn me suicide bomber.

The worst part is they don’t give surgeons pain meds.

So I just scream through it.

Give myself something to bite down on.

And I wish forgiveness was for myself like everyone says.

As if God ever called us to be selfish.

My dad, the rapist/ preacher says,

“Forgiveness is taking the knife off of the other person’s throat.”

No dad.

That’s easy.

This is surgery.

You got to be at a place where you actually care if the man dies where your knife slipped.

You got to call 911 and put pressure on the wound.

You got to do your best to keep him alive until the professionals get there.

You got to go visit him in the hospital and write him in prison.

And he may not say sorry,

But if he does you got to say, “For what?”

Like you forgot already.

But before you can be unangry enough to do that.

You got to sit still and tend to your wounds.

You got to sit still and heal.

Little brother,

Little sister,

You do not have to let it go…

Right now.

But if you’ll just…

Sit still.

Tend to your wounds.

Sit still.


You’ll get there.

And God will say, “Well done.”

“You saved a life.”

By:Acacia Faye


Thank you so much for reading!  If you like my poetry, you will definitely like Rachel Wiley’s!  Go ahead and click on “Fat Girl Finishing School”.  You won’t regret it!  I will earn a small percentage of the sale, but you know I would never recommend you read less than amazing poetry.  Also don’t forget to like, follow, and share!   I appreciate the love!  – Acacia

Poetry: A Letter to the Joy I have lost

I left you.

I don’t remember when.

It’s been a while.

But when I left I knew I’d be back.

You knew it too.

There is an unspoken agreement here.

We did not carve forget-me-not on a tree or write it in blood.

You would never be violent to any kind of life.

Before I left, you planted an acacia tree in the backyard.

You surrounded it with daffodils and chrysanthemums.

You said nothing about it.

But I knew it was to be a place of pure joy.

I have been away so long Joy.

So long I have forgotten where we lived.

But I have set out to find you again my love.

I am a little turned around but nothing will keep me away.

When I am home we will dance among the daffodils.

Flowers of purity will hang over us.

We will chase each other through the chrysanthemums.

And we’ll laugh so hard I’ll forget I ever cried.

By: Acacia Faye


Thank you so much for reading!  If you would like to support my fabulous writing skills go ahead and click on the pendant!  I will earn a small percentage of the sale!  Also don’t forget to like, follow, and share!   I appreciate the love!  – Acacia


Short Story: Mother

She stood… still.

Her burnt gold skirt flowed in the soft breeze. Gray clouds filled the sky. She could feel the blue pastel tulips tapping against her shins. Her ankles. Her calves.

The man with no face. He was directly in front of her. He wasn’t far away. But he wasn’t close.

He stood… still.

They stood… still… in this field of blue pastel tulips. On a cloudy day.

The spider descended from the gray clouds. It was black. The size of a small horse. It used its seven thick black legs to crawl towards the faceless man.

“Watch out,” she said.

It’s legs… It’s body, enveloped the faceless man… devoured the faceless man… consumed the faceless man.

The spider with seven legs began to eat the blue pastel tulips. It wasn’t close. But it wasn’t far away.

She stood… still.

She heard the ringtone on her phone telling her to wake up and prepare for her day.

By: Atlas Dax



Short Story: Flowers

Friday mid-mornings were usually slow at the downtown café. Everyone was at work and the staff took the time to wash the glass windows and doors, sweep the front walkway, and tidy things on the inside. The plants in the café were well looked after. Kate, took the time to regularly water and prune so that they happily thrived amongst the coffee lovers who regularly visited.

The theme was homey. The furniture didn’t match, but it was comfortable. There were padded sitting chairs, and a cushioned bench that ran along the wall with tables accompanying them. The orange begonias sat on a mid-height shelf and overlooked the room, right next to the geraniums. A young couple walked in and sat on the purple sitting chairs with their coffee. “What a sweet couple,” said Begonias, “They must be here on holiday for I don’t believe I’ve seen them before.” “Wow, you remember everyone that comes here, Begonias!” said Geraniums. He was easily impressed.

With a proud chuff, Begonias replied, “Well, I have been told I’ve got a good memory and can tell many things about folks that come through.” A friendly, gruff chuckle came from the ceiling where a fluffy old Boston Fern hung in a basket. “Now, Begonias, whether what you say is true or not is another story,” he said playfully. Begonias huffed her petals a bit and said, “I will have you know, Mr. Fern, that everything I say is absolutely true! My opinions are based on my pure, unfiltered thoughts without any influence or outside alteration!” Hibiscus in the corner said in a calming voice, “Oh Mr. Fern, must you tease her so? She really is one of the most honest blooms to ever grace us with her company.” She was always conscious of everyone else’s emotional status; a sort of mothering peacemaker.

“Heh heh. Now, you know, Miss Hibiscus, I was just ruffling her leaves a bit, no harm intended, of course,” said Mr. Fern in a slightly more apologetic tone, but still with a hint of jest. Begonias was indeed ruffled and let out a little quiver of annoyance. The white Calla Lilly sat quietly in the corner. She rarely spoke much anymore. Geraniums, being the curious young fellow that he was, noticed it. “Mrs. Calla Lilly, ma’am. Why haven’t you been speaking much these days?” he asked her. Calla Lilly drooped a little in response, but she didn’t have the energy to respond. Begonias, Hibiscus, and Fern seemed to droop at her lack of response. Geraniums, not understanding why the mood turned somber, asked, “What’s wrong with her? Why is everyone sad?”

The plants quietly drooped even more at the question. After a few moments, the Boston Fern broke the silence and said, “You see, young sprout, there comes a time in a plant’s life when-“ “She’s withering!” broke out Begonias in sobs, “She’s going to leave us, our dear Calla Lilly!” Geraniums was horrified. He had only just sprouted himself, and he had never experienced withering. How could the Calla Lilly leave them? She was part of their family! The Boston Fern shook his fluffy leaves and groaned at Begonias saying, “Begonias! You don’t have speak so to the little fella!” Begonias, huffy again, retorted, “Hmpf, I see no reason to coddle him. This will happen to all of us at some point!” The Fern quipped back, “But you didn’t have to be so dramatic, woman!”

Hibiscus, being the natural peacemaker of the group, tried to placate the two plants when Geraniums exclaimed, “Her petals, they’re on the ground! She’s… she’s…” At this point everyone fell silent. Geraniums, shaken in surprise, said quietly, “We never got to say goodbye.” Hibiscus and Begonias did not respond but looked towards the Boston Fern.

The plants remained quiet that day. They did not talk throughout the afternoon as the café goers came in and out, drinking their coffees and teas, admiring the plants on the shelves but looking forlornly at the old pot in the corner with the withered Calla Lilly. As she was closing up the shop, Kate found the pot it its state and said, “Oh dear. She’s gone again. Ah well, we’ll have her back in no time.” Geraniums, who always listened but never always understood, couldn’t help but wonder at her words. Kate carried the pot out with her as she locked up the café.

That night in the dark room, when the moon was high in the sky, Geraniums was wide awake. He whispered, “Mr. Fern… Mr. Fern, are you awake?” There was no response. Again, Geraniums tried to ask, “Mr. Fern, can I please talk to you?” The Fern sighed with a limp swing of his stems. “What is it, boy?” he asked lifelessly. “What did Kate mean today when she said that Misses Calla Lilly would be back?” Geraniums queried. “Ah, she probably meant that Calla Lilly would be replaced with another flower,” said the Fern tiredly. “Really?” asked Geraniums, “It sounded like Misses Calla Lily would be coming back to us!” “That, m’boy, would be really something, wouldn’t it?” said the Fern with a small halfhearted chuckle.

The next morning, Kate came in with the same pot, but it was empty, or so they thought. Hibiscus figured, “Surely Kate wouldn’t just put an empty pot of soil here. There must be a bulb or seed planted. We’ll have a new young sprout soon!” Everyone, even the Fern, cheered up at the news and everyone felt enlivened. The days passed, and a small green shoot began inching out of the soil. As the time went by, a small white bloom appeared and one day, when Begonias and Hibiscus were commenting on a café customer’s hat’s floral arrangement and the Fern and Geraniums were deep in discussion of soil moisture levels, a small voice spoke out, “Hello all! Great to be back, isn’t it?” Everyone turned towards the little open bloomed Calla Lily in shock.

Geraniums was the first to ask, “You came back? What do you mean?” The little Calla Lily giggled and said, “Oh you all, it’s what Calla Lilies do! We come back! As long as we’ve got good gardeners, we never really go away, we bloom anew!” Everyone looked at the old Fern. He laughed and said loudly, “Well, Calla Lily, you could have told us! Instead you just let us moan and groan over you somethin’ awful!” The Calla Lily laughed as well and said, “Oh, Fern, you know I wouldn’t leave you without saying goodbye. I knew I was coming back. We’ve been the longest of friends ever since Kate started bringing plants in to the café.” “Indeed, young lady, as I can now call you,” said the old Fern, “But next time you feel yourself about to be absent for a bit, could you please give us a warning?”

“Oh, you old green basked of fluff, can’t you just be happy that she’s back?” asked the huffy Begonias. The Hibiscus chimed in, “Yes, Mr. Fern! Let’s just be happy our dear Calla Lilly is back!” Contentedly, Geraniums looked around at his fellow plants and said, “I’m glad everyone is back.” As the plants continued their conversations, and the café people continued to come and go. Kate wiped the tables as the left and took the orders of the new comers. They admired the fresh orange Geraniums, the stately Boston Fern, the vibrant Hibiscus, the luscious Begonias, and the renewed Calla Lily slowly growing tall and strong yet again.

By: Naomi Lea



Short Story: Climbing out the Nursing Home Window

                “Medley.  How are you holding up dear.”  Stanza asked handing her a tissue.
                “Fifty-five years.  Fifty-five years of caring for this man and he’s gone.  Just like that.”
                The girls pulled her into a hug.  By “the girls” I mean Stanza, Capella, and Carol.  They met in college.  A bunch of band girls who had become fast friends and somehow managed to stay close throughout the years regardless of where their careers and husbands took them.  They kept talking about moving in together all their lives, but it never worked out.  It always seemed like someone was getting married, someone didn’t want to quit their job just to have to find another, someone was in the wrong country…..  Then when they all got married all their husbands thought it was kind of a weird idea.  But now, everyone was widowed except Carol.  Ironic, because Carol used to joke about killing Medley’s husband when she became a widow so they could grow old in a nursing home together.  Medley would always tell her that her kids would love her entirely too much to ever put her in a nursing home.
                A few weeks after the funeral, Medley’s children broke it to her that they were going to have to put her in a nursing home.
                “You can’t put me a nursing home George!”  She shouted.  “I fed you!  I clothed you! I paid for your education!  You ungrateful little chicken s***!”
                “Mom.  I appreciate all those things and you know that.  But I have a wife, two kids, and I’m working on my Ph.D.  I can’t keep driving two and a half hours for your so-called emergencies.”
                “So-called?  My emergencies are real!”
                “Mom, you called me down here to open a pickle jar.”
                “Well, I was working on a recipe that called for pickles!  Your dad used to open those for me.”  She started tearing up again.
                “I would just feel better if you had some people near that could help you.”
                “You can’t make me!  I will go in kicking and screaming!”
                Well,…she couldn’t really kick as she was in a wheelchair, but she did go in screaming.  “George you ungrateful wretch!  You were supposed to love me enough to keep me out of one of these places!” As she snatched a little old man’s walker out from underneath him and hurled it at George’s head.
                “Mother!  Stop!”
                “Take me home!”  She said as she grabbed at a lady’s cane.
                “Oh no, you don’t.”  He steered her away and up to the front desk.
                He smiled at the front desk lady who looked horrified.  “I’ve come to offer you a new resident.”
                “No, he didn’t!”  She went for his neck, but it was just out of reach.
                “Oh well, of course, we would love to have her.  She seems darling.  Let me just check and see if we have any rooms available.”  She fiddled around on the computer a little.  “Oh.  We are all full!  I’m sorry.”
                And the pattern continued.  Until they finally found one that would take on the challenge.  George was pretty sure they took her because they were desperate for residents.  The place was absolutely depressing.  The walls were this ugly yellow.  You know the darker yellow that kind of looks like it wants to be gold without any of the beauty that comes with gold.  Yeah, that color.  There was no art on the walls.  There was a small TV in the lobby area, but it was an old black and white TV.  George momentarily felt bad about leaving his mother there.  Then he remembered the man with the walker that she tried to kill.   He shook it off and drove away.
                Medley remained in her room alone, all day every day.  They sent in a nurse three times a day to give her a tray of food that she threw across the room.  Once a week a scared looking nurse would come in and give her her sponge bath.  It was never the same nurse.   And so, Medley was forced to be alone with her thoughts, day after day with very little human interaction.  She was absolutely miserable.  She often thought of a time when she wasn’t miserable.  In college, she was never miserable.  The shenanigans of her, Stanza, Carol, and Capella were enough to make sure she didn’t have time to be miserable.
After about three weeks of this madness, she hatched a plan.  She was going to get the girls back together again.  They were all retired so their jobs wouldn’t miss them.  The only thing standing in their way was that pesky Jacob!  Carol’s husband.  So naturally, her first order of business was to get rid of him.  The trouble was, he was as fit as a fiddle and twenty years younger than all the girls!  So poison would be suspicious.  But the more she was left alone with her thoughts, the more refined her plans became.
Finally, at midnight, she opened her window, used her bedsheets to lower her wheelchair down to the ground, while supporting herself on the windowsill.  She then threw herself down into it.  Surprisingly she stuck the landing!  This alone gave her hope that her plan would work!  She hotwired one of the night nurse’s cars, rigged up a system to work the peddles and drove to California!  Switching cars along the way to avoid two things, running out of gas and getting caught.
When she reached California, she watched him!  Everywhere he went.  Work, home, kickboxing with Carol, taking Carol on dates.  It seemed that the only place he went that Carol wasn’t with him was work.  So, that settled it!
She waited for him at an intersection one morning.  Angry cars kept honking at her to go every time the light turned green, but she had to be patient.  He finally got there!  And when his light turned green, she hit the gas and crashed into him, when she was certain he was dead, she sped off!  She switched cars again in the parking lot of some apartments she found.  Luckily, her fingerprints were on none of these cars!  She was smart enough to wear gloves.
Once her Jacob problem was solved.  She waited for the funeral to be over so that Carol could have her time of morning.  Though of course, she couldn’t go to the funeral.  Because no one knew where she was.  Besides, George might have been at the funeral.  Medley did appear however when Carol went to the bathroom.
“Medley!  Where have you been?  George has been looking everywhere for you!”
“I broke out of that awful nursing home he put me in.”
“Well, now where are you living?”
“I’m on the run.”
“That’s silly Medley.  Just come with me.”  And she looked towards the door.   “George is here.  We will figure out a solution.”  But by the time she looked back.  Medley was gone.
But of course, she wasn’t just gone!  She was sitting on the commode in the handicapped bathroom being very quiet and still.  She was hoping Carol wouldn’t think to check under the stalls because she couldn’t lift her wheelchair off the ground for that long.  But to Carol, she seemed to be gone.
“Medley?”  Carol looked around.  “I always knew I’d go crazy eventually.”
The next step of the plan was a go!  She robbed a bank.  Of course, she was very careful.  She picked one in a small town where no one knew her, wore a ski mask, colored contacts, and gloves.  After the bank had placed all the money in the bag, she rolled out of there, stole a teller’s minivan and was off.
Now that she had money, she could hire her favorite hitman, Lance!  Lance was to kidnap all her friends but specifically instructed him not to hurt them!
He kidnapped Stanza under the cover of nightfall right after a bowling tournament.  Capella, he took after Bible study and Carol was easy.  He just broke into her house as she now lived alone.
The great thing about hiring Lance as your hitman was, he had a helicopter!  So when he had successfully kidnapped everyone, he flew them to Norway.  There he gently placed them gently in recliners in the living room of a house.  He untied their hands and disappeared.
Soon after they had taken off their blindfolds, Medley came in the house. “Hi girls!”
“Medley.  What is going on?”  Capella asked.
“I got the girls back together.”
“Ummm did you have to kidnap us to do that?”  said Stanza.
“Because all of our plans to live together again have failed!  Something was always getting in our way.  This way none of you could back out!”
“But we’re all retired, and all of our husbands have passed so what would have stopped us?”  Stanza argued.  Carol started to tear up at the thought of her husband.
“Nothing!  That’s why this is the perfect time.”  Medley was all smiles.
“I don’t know what I would have done anyways…”  Said Carol, “now that Jacob is gone.  I can’t believe he was the one to die first.”
The girls all came over to comfort her.
“Okay.  Well, we’re already in…,”  said Capella.
“Norway.  We’re already in Norway.  We might as well make the most of it.  I was sad and pitiful all by myself anyway.”
“So you’re gonna stay?”  Medley said.  “You’re not going to turn me into George!”
“Well it’s not like you gave us much of a choice you crazy old bat!” said Stanza.
“Yay!  Now we’ve gotta go exploring!  What are we going to see first?”
They went on discussing what to see and when to go for hours.  They lived out the rest of their lives blissfully running around Norway like tourists and Carol never figured out who killed Jacob.  Said she didn’t have the energy, besides God would take care of them for her.  They were happy until they started to pass away.  Capella went first, then Stanza.  Carol stayed alive until there was only one day til her hundredth birthday.
When she passed…Medley was again left alone with her thoughts….
By: Acacia Faye

Thank you so much for reading! If you would like to support my fabulous writing skills go ahead and click on the mug! I will earn a small percentage of the sale! Also don’t forget to like, follow, and share! I appreciate the love!  – Acacia


Short Story: Janie

After Church, Andrew prepared lunch for his eight-year-old daughter and himself. He wore an olive-green bowling shirt and ancient cargo pants. Janie sat across the bar watching him.  She was still in her Sunday dress. It was white and floral.  Jeanette, her mother, claimed it was a “preacher’s kid” dress. She wore white stockingsand little black flats to accent the PK aspects of it.  Andrew was used to cooking for three, but his wife was out of town visiting her sister. 
As he chopped potatoes he asked Janie, “So, how was church?” 
Janie just sighed. Her facial expression became serious.
“Well…” She paused to collect her thoughts, “I like Sunday School. But….” She paused again.  
“But…” Andrew said encouraging her to say the thing she wanted to say. 
“Our Church has really weird old ladies.” She finally said.
Andrew laughed. Loud. Like a Gorilla. ” Okay, I’m not going to argue that. What happened today? What makes you feel this way?”
They’re everywhere Daddy! Remember this morning? When we were greeted by the lady with the motorcycle helmet? She laughs like a Hyena! And then the Horse-lady came up from behind us. She scared me superbad!” 
Andrew couldn’t stop smiling at her, “The Horse-lady? Do you mean Mrs. Paisley?” 
“Yes. When she smiles she looks exactly like a horse, it’s uncanny.” 
He made a face at her. Uncanny was a big word for an eight-year-old, “Where did you learn that word?” 
“Did I say it wrong? Is it a bad word?” She asked with mild concern. 
“No, you used the right word, and no it’s not a bad word. Where did you hear it?” He asked. It was curious to him that she automatically assumed it was a bad word.  
“Mommy,” she answered. 
Andrew laughed. This had to be one of the best conversations he’d ever had with her. Maybe he was just missing his wife, but Janie was talking and acting just like her mother. He finished chopping the ingredients and put them in the pot to let them boil for a while. He put the lid on the pot and turned his attention back to Janie.  
She was holding a small Ziploc bag. 
“What’s that, honey?” He asked. 
“The Giraffe-lady decided today was a good day to pull kid’s teeth,” Janie answered“Do you want it?”  
“Put it under your pillow, when your mom gets home. You know she likes to play tooth fairy for you,” He replied. Andrew and Jeanette decided not to teach Janie about the Tooth-fairy, Santa, or other silly things like that. They wanted her to still enjoy the benefits of those said characters, so she still received a dollar under her pillow, but she knew Mommy gave it to her not the tooth fairy.  
The part that bothered Andrew the most, was that Mary didn’t ask him for permission to pull his child’s tooth out of its socket. That Giraffe-lady should have known better, she was a school teacher. 
“So, I think you’ve come to a conclusion about our church.” Andrew said.  
What’s a conclusion?” She asked. 
“Hmmm… a Decision? A Judgement? A final thought on a subject?” He answered. 
“Oh. Okay. What’s my conclusion?” She asked. 
“You’re saying our church is like a free zoo.”  


This time Janie Laughed. Like a little chimpanzee. 



By: Atlas Dax


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