but here's something that came to me out of the blue, a compact little nugget in the spirit of the season.
of course, i thought i could make this into a piece of flash fiction, which is a short story of 99 words or less. at 142 words, it's almost half again too long, even after i edited some of my descriptive flourishes out, so i guess it is still an over-long failure in that regard. but i like it and i don't want to reduce it any further.
Sitting in the garden digging trenches around the marigolds with an old bone. It got stuck in my throat one afternoon and my grandmother had to take me to the hospital. She told me I was lucky they had got it out, or else an animal would have grown inside me and then she handed me my souvenir.
So I planted my throat-bone, thinking to grow myself a friend. I told my mother of my plan and she laughed in that cold, echoing way adults have, that way that mocks you for still being a child. And after that I dug it up, that tricky bone and used it to make moats around these castles of flame and spice.