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Flesh propped up by bones with a zoo of words in her skull

Fiction Friday

She was too beautiful. She’d be chosen — like all the others.

But she’d be chosen first.

Her beauty was radiant. She had blossomed the way all others wished their daughters would. Tall and flushed with youth, her glow was a sight to behold. There was a whimsical, magical quality about her that I couldn’t make sense of. I hadn’t been able to take my eyes off her since she came into existence.

She was still growing, still reaching for the sky like nothing under the sun would impede her from touching it. She didn’t yet know we weren’t in…

“Why do the trees point up,” my 2 year old son asked.

“Because they’re reaching for the sun,” I answered.

“Won’t they burn when they touch it,” my 10 year…

Your imposter syndrome stands between you and a life of fulfillment.

I’m convinced most — if not all — of my writing is garbage.

I’ll complete a piece — a story, an article, a journal entry — and have the audacity to think, “This is kind of decent, Jas. Well done.”

I’ll do an initial comb-thru afterwards, fixing obvious grammatical errors or simplifying sentences that are difficult to read and understand. I take a rag and polish the rock that is my creation. Is it a gem? I’m not sure. It takes a fresh, surprised mind to make that kind of judgement. I need to read it like I didn’t write…

How facing my worst-case scenario made me realize the value in being upfront.

Haris and I sat outside my favourite Korean fried chicken joint while we waited for our to-go order. I was expressing my frustrations about the disproportionate levels of effort that were becoming apparent between Brian and I, when Haris interrupted me:

“What are you scared of?”

I stopped talking but my mouth hung open.

I didn’t know.

I sat in silence for a moment while Haris watched the cogs in my head start turning in a different direction. Finally, I said:

“That he’ll leave.”

It was a confession not only to Haris but to myself. I hadn’t realized I was…

Sometimes dread.

Most times apathy.

Complete indifference to everything — which can be interchangeable with apathy on occasion. Other times not.

Depression. Sometimes my depression looks and feels like apathy.


Not wanting to be alive.

Sometimes wanting to die.

**Not wanting to be alive and wanting to die are two very different things. I’ve experienced both. Existentialism tends to wander on the former rather than the latter.

It’s seasonal. Not in the sense of spring/summer/fall/winter. More so, “that existentialism cycle has returned, folks.” …

And why it looks like I’m barely scraping by

Susanne and I were sitting on her veranda one morning after working out outside together. She’d made us Americanos and we sipped on them as our conversation graduated to heavier content.

“Have you ever done the ACE quiz?”

“What’s that,” I asked.

“The Adverse Childhood Experiences quiz. It assesses your risk for disease and social and emotional problems as an adult based on experiences you’ve had before the age of 18 — think of it as a cholesterol score for childhood toxic stress.”

That evening, I did the quiz.

Did a parent ever hit you so hard you had marks…

The road to hell is paved with racism — and coated with the blood of Indigenous women.

Readers please note: this story discusses incidents of sexual assault.

Maybe it’s the Native in me but I love camping — camping in the real sense of the word. Drive out well beyond city limits, hike a trail or portage for a couple kilometres, shit in an elevated pit riddled with E.coli — real camping.

As soon as I leave the parking lot, the crowd of canopy and trunk swallow me whole. I’m submerged in an abyss of foliage, rock and creek. Time doesn’t exist in the wilderness — you move according to the elements. Am I prepared? Did I…

And the sole difference between exclusivity and a committed relationship

“Are you sure you want to have sushi? The last time we had sushi we didn’t talk for two months.”

I hold the door open and raise my eyebrows. Brian (yeah — that Brian) raises his. I raise mine higher. He folds with a chuckle and walks inside.

Sushi it was.

I haven’t seen Brian since the middle of December. I’d caught him lying to me, as I dipped my chop-chop cone in soy sauce and knew — as much as I liked him — this was the last time I would be seeing him.

For a period of time…

Fiction Friday

“I didn’t think dad had so much stuff. He was a borderline hoarder.” Victoria peered into a box full of knick-knacks and random certifications balanced on her hip.

“Well, there’s only a few more boxes left. You can head out if you want. I’ll take care of the rest.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah, go. It won’t take me much longer.”

She stood and contemplated for a moment then flashed a grin. “Great. I’m sure Kate is wondering where I am. She was expecting to meet up two hours ago.” She paused. “Call me when you’re done. Please? Seriously, don’t stay in…

Jasmine Freeman

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