Paper Dolls

I remember as a young girl I played with paper dolls. I remember looking through the paper doll magazine and admiring the pretty paper clothes and the dolls in the back cover. I remember gingerly punching out the clothes along their perforated edges so as not to rip them. I remember folding the tabs on the paper clothes onto the doll’s body. I loved playing with paper dolls.

In my early twenties, after I became a mother, I remember looking for paper doll magazines. I wanted to share them with my oldest daughter. It was such a fun past-time in my youth that I wanted to share the experience with her. I wanted to teach her how to punch out the clothes, the dolls and dress them. I wanted to watch her use her imagination as she played with them.

I never found any. I guess they stopped making those magazines. Oh but how I longed to share with my little girl the joy of playing with paper dolls.

One Way Ticket: A Gotham Writers’ Prompt

Photo by Ybrayym Esenov on Unsplash


I have a one way ticket to hell.


Maybe because I empathize with Jeffrey Dahmer. He only wanted not to be lonely and in total control of another. That’s what love is supposed to be ain’t it?

Or maybe it’s because I watch too many documentaries on serial killers. Have you seen the Night Stalker series on Netflix? Or maybe it’s because some mornings I begin my day with the news and relish at the destruction of the world. It could even be because I start my mornings off with murder. Or maybe it’s because I am considering joining the Satanic Temple. Who knows? Who really cares? We are all going some place huh?

Maybe hell ain’t all that bad. I don’t know anyone who has been there. Do you? I’ve only seen movies of what someone else’s interpretation of hell is. What if, what if heaven ain’t all that good? Hell, its full of sinners ain’t it. Oh…oh excuse me, REPENTED sinners. It doesn’t mean that the soul is pure.

Maybe I’m just a pessimist and God has no plans to send me anywhere. Maybe I will reside in limbo, that space between good and evil. Hell, I live there already. I can navigate through the imagined torment of hell and the imagined joy of heaven. It ain’t that hard.

It really doesn’t matter where I go because maybe, just maybe, there is no place to go at all.

Clouds on the Horizon: NYC Coalition Writing Prompt

Photo by Roberto Nickson from Pexels

As the sun sets, I can’t keep myself from gazing at the clouds on the horizon. The sun’s fading light paints the sky and the clouds with beautiful shades of pink and purple. I wonder how the sun, which glows orange as it sinks below the horizon, can create such colors on the surrounding clouds and sky.

Photo by Dave Hoefler on Unsplash

There’s a storm coming. I can see the clouds on the horizon. Black angry clouds are rolling in. The wind has picked up. The leaves are screaming as they shake violently in the trees. An ominous tune of the storm to come. The sky darkens and the branches bow to the wind.

Photo by Josh Sorenson from Pexels

**Trigger Warning**

There’s a storm coming. I’ve been walking on eggshells for weeks. I’ve been putting on an act to placate him, to keep the peace but I can feel it brewing. Deep in my bones I know the clouds are on the horizon. They are charging up with electrons. I hope the subsequent explosion won’t be too bad. I’ve been good. I’ve been so good. I haven’t provoked him or complained. I’ve been good. Please…please don’t let him rain down on me hard. Please…please let it just be angry words or name calling. Please no fists. Please no shoves, no black eyes or busted lips. Oh please I pray. I have been good, so good.

The clouds are on the horizon and I have no way of knowing when they will erupt. I have no way of protecting me from the terror to come. Hopefully…hopefully…hopefully he will see how good I’ve been. I pray he remembers how good I’ve been and how much I love him. Oh please I pray. Oh please I beg. Oh please…


Guarding Something Precious: NYC Coalition Writing Prompt

Photo by Eva Elijas from Pexels

My core is precious stone. It’s not hard and indestructible like diamond, it is softer like rainbow moonstone. She flashes iridescent light if looked at just right, that is, if I allow you to see her.

My core is guarded by a seven-headed dragon of blue flame. The dragon encircles her and works hard to protect her preciousness from outside influences. When attacked the dragon releases a fire 2000 times hotter than volcanic magma. It takes its job seriously. Sometimes the dragon relaxes and allows her to play on these pages. She can flit and flutter on the spaces between the lines. The dragon adores the stories she tells, the poems she creates. Her whispered creations soothe the dragon’s blue flames to a golden simmer.

My core kisses her protector gently like the wind a butterfly’s wings create as it moves from flower to flower. She is sweet, my core, and mostly innocent. She harbors within an immense sadness for humanity, the environment, the world, and herself. The dragon keeps her warm and gives her someone to talk to about the injustices she witnesses and the sadness she harbors. The dragon listens and guards against any slights similar to those she speaks of. They live in tandem, my core and the dragon, and love one another fiercely.