The sacrificial rituals of early 21st America

Their gods needed a sacrifice for the women had become two bold. The audacity! With hashtags #MeToo #TimesUp and #withher feminists were stirring up trouble.

The #maga oracle had predicated that there was a new battle for our civilization. These anti-patriarch feminists were going to set civilization back ten thousand years. The oracle swigged the ancient scotch, the vessels swelled and his visage glowed blood red. He roared a battle cry. “The gods INSIST.” He bellowed.

He whispered to the king. “But Hillary.”

The oracle’s image flickered blue in the homes of the faithful. They rose from their recliners and gathered in the new Public square.

The CEOs wore their power suits and flashed their extra cash around. The ministers carried their holy books and read passages written by the sacred early misogynists that promise hell fire for the disobedient. Members of the NRA paraded in camouflage carrying their rapid fire armaments. College boys bore tiki torches, their khaki legs marching in lock step while they chanted “lock her up, lock her up”

“Hang the treasonous bitch” a lone voice called. The mob was filled with bloodlust and the chanting climbed louder.

“Not the flesh.” The oracle cried. “Not the flesh. We do not need a martyr to fan the feminist fires!” But his voice slurred and few could make out his words.

The crowd parted for the #maga sisterhood. They flowed past their men in their ceremonial stilettos. They smiled through painted lips. They were hungrier than the men for they had to demonstrate their loyalty. They carried the pantsuited effigy to the foot of the king’s golden throne.

“Her emails” they chanted.

Then the maga sisters tore the effigy to shreds before dousing it with lighter fluid. The most bleached moved her arms in rhythm to the chants. She flashed her sparklers like pom-pom’s and then tossed it onto the effigy.

A roaring fire rose and brought a feverish blush to the apples of her cheeks.

“So hot.” The king mumbled then tweeted.

“Women love me. Long live the king.”


Inspired by Bannon’s comments about anti-patriarchy, trump’s obsession with Hillary and the daily prompt: insist.

<a href=””>Insist</a&gt;

I did not sign up for this

It was a little thing but truly isn’t that exactly why the saying is “the straw that broke the camels back?” I mean if the big things broke our spirit, it would be the skyscraper that broke the camels back.

I stood up and grabbed by bag and headed over to the registrar’s office. Oh how my feelings had changed from my first day when they calmly signed me up and showed me the enormous computer that would make sure everything was going to be okay.

I stomped past the clerks with their patient smiles. Yes stomped because I am done playing mrs nice gal. I stomped and banged on the door. Yes banged. Come on you know the drill.

Bang bang bang.

The registrar opened the door calmly and gave me a smile.

“Hey registrar! I did not sign up for this.” I purposely dragged out “registrar” and added a contemptuous inflection. Everyone does that these days and I mean business.

God she was patient. So patient. Angels are like that. It’s infuriating.

“Let’s pull up your enrollment file. Mistakes are rare but I would never want to say they are impossible.”

She gestured into the air and typed my name and birthdate in.

Soft lights surrounded us like fireflies as the computer analyzed my enrollment record. Soft bells and chimes filled the room as she printed out my file.

Damn why did everything have to be so soothing and pleasant in this place. I could feel my anger slipping away.

She pulled a chair close.

“There we go.” She said and she pointed to a class. “See, this is exactly what you signed up for”.


Inspired by the daily prompt: enroll

<a href=””>Enroll</a&gt;

Permit approved

Just this morning, the mailman gingerly crossed our ice covered walkway to deliver the mail. I peeked from behind the blinds and saw the frown in his face as he shook his head and moved aside the junk mail. Not sure of the last time I pried open our mailbox but I suspected that this piece of mail would be worth opening up the door and feeling the cold blast of frigid air.

I waited hunched low for fear that he would see my shape on the other side of the window and remind me, as he has in the past, that if I do not remove the old mail, he will have to notify the postmaster general. The first time he told me this, I sobbed uncontrollable and pulled at his carrier bag until my neighbor’s mail tumbled down into a mud puddle. That’s it he said and sure enough I knew no sobbing or pulling was going to change my fate.

It was a different season then. I was a different woman then. In those days I was afraid of authority figures but I have been cured of that affliction. In part because these days you don’t need to be very qualified to be an authority figure.  But the larger reason why  was due to my encounter with the postmaster general who turned out to be a lovely grey haired woman who listened to my plight and even followed me home to assist with a once over clean up of my mail box. I promised her I could keep up with it from here on in and pressed a little left over bag of Halloween candy into her hands as my thank you.

I wish I could say that I was able to keep my promises.

Once it was safe to do so, I opened the door. There resting on top of the pile of pizza coupons, grocery flyers and unopened bills was a letter with the city seal. Part of me knew that I could carry all the mail in but fate placed this dear envelope on the top. Who argues with fate?

I pulled the single envelope off and ignored the marketing materials that fell into the snow and shrubbery. I think I had read that paper makes excellent mulch. Spring will be upon us before we know it!

Sealed within my envelope my destiny awaits. My heart pounded at the thought and I got a giddy excitement. I often feel fortunate that after all these years I have retained a childlike joy and wonder. This is a moment to share.

I cleared last nights dishes from the table. Such beautiful wood! I placed the envelope on the table. Too lonely and stark! I quickly whipped up a cappuccino and created a perfect heart from the foam. Better, the white cup plays off well against the white of the envelope. And berries on the Italian pottery saucer. Wait. Too staged. The chipped one will be just write.

I held the camera high above for that perfect selfie angle.

Open Facebook.

Post last photo!

“Envelope in hand. Permit approved? Feeling Hopeful!!”


Inspired by the daily prompt Permit


Curled up small, the creature began to sense its surroundings. All senses were engaged. Was it warm or cold? Skin pressed against a hard surface sensed cold and wet.

A limb tentatively reached from its warmer center, pushing outwards. Roughness turned sharp and a sting caused the limb to retract quickly.

The creature discovered its breath and pulled in long gulps of salty air. The breath had a rhythm.

In pause out pause.

The creature curled into its warm belly.

In pause out pause.

In pause out pause.

Focus on the sounds, the creature thought. With thought, came awareness.

The creature held the breath in its core and noticed the rhythmic sound continued.

I know this sound, the creature thought.

It let the word ‘I’ sit in its brain and turned it around, inspecting the word and considering.


Neurons fired. Images formed in the darkness of her closed eyes. Pupils constricted and the breath sped up as adrenaline flushed through her body.

She remembered.

Inspired by the daily prompt: creature

<a href=””>Creature</a&gt;

The closing

Ties loosened slowly for more than a year. Waves of people found jobs in other cities. Houses took longer to sell. Few people talked about the changes. Who could blame them?

A few places die quick deaths. There’s Chernobyl and Fukushima.

But most places are like this town. They die slowly. Youth replaced by old age. Old eyes staring out through dusty pains of glass.

Molly was in the middle of everything: middle aged, middle manager living in her modest middle class home.

She wanted people to think it was her sense of duty just kept her at the mill until the last days. Perhaps the executives would remember her commitment and sacrifice and consider her indispensable.

“Molly we need you at our San Francisco home office. What can we do to woo you away from your home town?” She imagined them tempting her away from this place.

But the executives left first with bonuses so large that they would never need to sell their mansions by the river.

On the very last day, Molly walked the plant with Alan, the facilities manager. She carried the checklist and they checked each room together.

It was dead silent. All the noises had relocated with their people. Their footsteps echoed as they walked down each darkened hall.

Alan carried a metal box. After they locked the door of each room, he dropped the corresponding key in the box. The box, now nearly full with keys, clinked with each step.

Finally they walked down the long hallway where men and women would rush quickly to clock in before the shift.

At the end of the hall, by the security shack, a courier leaned against his mini van.

Alan closed the chain link gate and slipped on the padlock. He dropped the final key in.

They walked over to the courier.

“Is that everything?” He asked.

They nodded.

“Alright then” the courier took the box and drove off.

“Well, what next Alan?”

“Going to enjoy my retirement. Maybe do an odd job here and there. ” He smiled and Molly believed him. It made her feel sad not for him but for herself. This town died too early for her old self but too late for her young self.

“How about you Molly?”

Molly hesitated.

“I’m relocating. They want me to join them at the home office. Don’t even have time to pack up properly.”

“You were always indispensable Molly. They’re smart to bring you along with them.”

“You are too kind Alan. My best to your wife.”

Molly climbed into her car. She waved goodbye to Alan, to the factory, to the town. Perhaps once she settled in a new place, she would send her key to Alan and hire him to pack up her things.

She took the long way out of town and drove by the abandoned mansions on her way to the highway. She waved goodbye to them too.

<a href=””>Relocate</a&gt;