The Changeling Answer

March 3, 2015

Original

Jarod K. Anderson is a fan of comic books, tattoos, pulp detective novels, herpetology, folklore, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, video games, and all things scifi, fantasy, and horror. Growing up, he wanted to be either a ninja or a maple tree. These aspirations led him to teach college English. Teaching college English led him to try other things. Jarod’s work has appeared in numerous online and print publications including Daily Science Fiction, Escape Pod, Electric Spec, Fictionvale, The Colored Lens, Fantasy Scroll, and elsewhere. His work is forthcoming in Midnight Echo and Shroud Magazine. His bestselling books of speculative fiction writing prompts (co-written with his wife Leslie J. Anderson) include: Inklings: 300 Starts, Plots, and Challenges to Inspire Your Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy, and 100 Prompts for Science Fiction Writers. Find him online at www.jarodkanderson.com.

Stir up chains in a big pot.
Stick it on the stovetop at high heat.
Pepper in some silver dust and witch-hazel.

When the metal half glows
And your forearms burn from stirring
Dump it all into a sack with the thing.

Let the hot metal slither in like a snake
Down onto the limbs of your not-daughter
Your used-to-be son.

You can’t get back what it’s taken,
You can’t even kill it. Not really.
But that’s not the point.

You can remind them,
Those little men of dusk and leaf litter,
That we don’t always come unhinged in our grief

That there is anger in us more strong and biting
Than the raw wet thrashings of tooth and claw.

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© Jarod K. Anderson

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