A woman decided to marry the sea.
“You can’t do that!” everyone insisted. But they couldn’t think of a reason why not.
The woman loved the sea. When she was calm its surface was placid, and when she was angry it roiled and raged. They were wed in a private ceremony, with only the gulls and the crabs as their witnesses.
The woman and the sea were happily married for many years, but eventually they grew apart. The woman changed. She prioritized different relationships and gained a new perspective on the brevity, and finality, of her life. The sea also changed. It warmed. It rose. It was placid when she felt angry and raged when she felt calm.
“You can’t divorce the sea!” everyone insisted. But they were really speaking of their own marriages.
Soon after their separation, when everyone had ceased to care, the woman considered what she’d learned about matrimony. “I don’t think I’ll ever marry again,” she mused to herself. “Why? What’s the point? But if I do — because, truly, one never knows — maybe next time we’ll live apart.”
The sea missed her desperately.
The official poison-tester had been dining with royalty for three generations. He attributed his longevity to luck and a sturdy metabolism.
The old king had feasted on a regular basis. He ate rich foods in great quantities, hardly any fruits or vegetables, and substituted wine or mead in lieu of water. (The old king had had recurrent bouts of gout.) Back then, the poison-tester had been a young man. Rather than take a bite of this or a nibble of that, he’d consumed entire meals, and still his pants had fit him, season after season. The old king had been popular — there had been no attempted poisonings during his reign. He’d died peacefully, in his sleep.
His son, the young king, had been more reserved. More often than not, he and the poison-tester had dined alone. By now, the poison-tester was an adult in his own right — no longer did he wantonly eat or drink, or treat his job less than professionally. The young king had preferred his food bland, and the poison-tester hadn’t even seasoned his meals with salt, so determined was he to mirror the royal constitution. When the young king had died in battle, the victim of an opportunistic archer, the poison-tester had eaten a single, dry piece of bread in memoriam.
At the age of nine, the boy king had assumed the throne. He was a sickly child; it was unfair to have the mantel of leadership thrust upon him. He had no playmates. He very rarely went outside. The poison-tester wasn’t require to taste the boy’s various medicines, but he often grimaced in sympathy at the bitter taste and brought a warm glass of milk, which he also sipped, to sooth the boy’s stomach. When the boy went to sleep one night and didn’t wake the following morning, the poison-tester waited with his breakfast until it grew cold. At the royal funeral, no one cried louder than he.
Little Red Riding Hood went to visit her grandmother, but I don’t remember why. Maybe she was bringing her something?
Her grandmother lived all by herself, alone, which seems pretty strange. She still had family — she had a granddaughter, after all. Maybe she was a bad person? Maybe she was racist? So why did Little Red Riding Hood go visit her if she’d been ostracized? It could’ve been a guilt thing.
When she arrived her grandmother was already dead. The wolf had eaten her whole. That would’ve taken a while, right? Also, this wolf must’ve been huge. And crazy smart. The wolf in this story is terrifying. When people first heard it, they should’ve gone out and killed every wolf they saw. Even the ones that couldn’t talk. Even the small ones.
So the wolf, dressed like Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother, got under the covers, just lying there. But how long had it been in those clothes, just waiting around? It’s beyond insane. And Little Red Riding Hood walked up, completely fooled by the wolf’s voice and, like, a bonnet, and I don’t remember how the story ends, but it’s not with Little Red Riding Hood dying, so it’s got to be the wolf.
This is the kind of thing a drunk person tells you if you ride mass transit in the middle of the day.
This is a repository for JY's original content that's yet to be bound in a book -- essays, short fiction, etc. There's little rhyme or reason, so jump in!