Written in 20 minutes, with the Carrizozo Writers
I was on the bus, heading home after my overnight shift cooking at the Roadhouse Grill when I met her the first time.
She introduced herself as Donna and said that she used to be the queen of Texas but had been unseated from that position by her sister in a coup that few people even knew about; Donna wasn’t bitter. She hadn’t liked being queen anyway; too much responsibility, too easy to fuck things up, mess with people’s lives. The sister, Anita, who was now known as Queen Anita, was a witch, “Anita deserves to be queen,” she said, “I hope the job drives her crazy; stark raving mad. I never liked her anyway. She was always my mom’s favourite, Daddy’s little girl. I had to set the table, I had to lay the fire, I had to do the dishes, and I had to mow the lawn. She never had to do any of those things.”
“Yeah,” I told her agreeably, “you’re better off not having to put up with all that bullshit. Better to be ‘Apple Girl Cinderella’ than ‘Princess Cinderella.’” I knew not the first thing of what I spoke, but it encouraged her. She nodded her head, grateful that I understood. And, who really was I to say what the better position was, but she seemed to crave reinforcement of the things she had already decided. I was happy to oblige.
“What do you do now?” I asked her, “I mean, now that you are no longer Queen of Texas.”
“I take care of the park downtown. You know; the one where they have that statue of that guy? Where all the pigeons shit? I water the grass, trees, and bushes there. I also arrange for the proper winds when people come to fly their kites. Box kites require specific wind conditions to fly properly, you know.”
I nodded, “of course.”
“Box kite conditions are not necessarily the same as those required for Diamond kites or Dragon kites. The secret to a successful Diamond kite flight is getting the proper wind for the length of the tail. It’s not easy, but I persevere. Sometimes I have to have as many as five different wind conditions at the same park, all at the same time. It’s a thankless job. That bitch, Anita has no idea.”
time’s up – step away
- take me home
- stark, raving mad
- the witch deserves to be queen