Chapter 7: Remedy

Featuring work by: McKenzie Richardson & Elsie Hagley


Bald | McKenzie Richardson

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair. That’s what they always said to her. Even after she was rescued from that tower, it was still her defining feature.

Everyone always loved her hair. They associated it with her.

Bright red and braided. She was her hair and her hair was her.

But life has a way of throwing curve balls. Like when the diagnosis came or when the poison went in. But most of all, when what was supposed to save her was the thing that made all of her hair fall out. The thing that made her not her anymore.

It came out in bits and pieces, instead of all at once. It collected in the shower drain and in the bristles of her brush. It formed little orange nests on her pillow each morning. And when people looked at her, they didn’t see her anymore, they just saw the absence of hair.

They tried to hide it, but she could tell. She could always tell. The way their shoulders tensed when she walked into the room. The way conversations suddenly died in her presence. The way people’s eyes never met hers anymore.

She knew what they were thinking. Bald. How could Rapunzel be bald? How could the queen not be beautiful anymore? They forget that magic always comes with a price.

People were scared, as they always are by things they don’t understand. Because her face was sunken and her body had withered into itself. And most of all, because her hair was gone. She didn’t look like herself anymore.

But her smile remained. And her humor was still there. And most of all, best of all, her love was still there. Her hope and her humanity.

So even when the thing that people used to define her by was gone, that beautiful, loving, kind-hearted little princess was still there.

She was still there, smiling behind the eyes that no one dared to meet. She was still there, her warmth and compassion filling every room, even though they were devoid of people. She was still there, waiting to share her love.

Despite the cancer and the poison and the illness, she was still herself, now stronger and more beautiful than ever.

* * *

McKenzie Richardson lives in Milwaukee, WI. Her short stories have been published in the anthologies, Mutate, Electromagnetism, and It’s Behind You. Her work has also been featured in Flash Fiction Magazine, Whispers and Echoes, Winter Wishes, and Love Letters to Gaia.

Follow her on Facebook for more updates on her writing: https://www.facebook.com/mckenzielrichardson/

She also runs a crafting website at www.craft-cycle.com


The Remedy – Water Pantoum Poem | Elsie Hagley

Water the remedy that delight’s the senses for survival
A most extraordinary substance, no taste, no odour
It’s the lifeblood of our bodies, we can not live without it
Pure water the worlds foremost medicine of life

A most extraordinary substance, no taste, no odour
Three different forms, liquid, solid, and a gas (water vapour)
Pure water the worlds foremost medicine of life
It can wear away rocks, but never our heart

Three different forms, liquid, solid, and a gas (water vapour)
It’s the lifeblood of our bodies, we can not live without it
It can wear away rocks, but never our heart
Water the remedy that delight’s the senses for survival

* * *

Author of Ramblings of a Writer 2016 is Elsie Hagley, Age 77, she lives in Taranaki, New Zealand.

Visit Elsie Hagley’s blog here.


Previous chapter: Chapter 6: Wild | Next chapter: Chapter 8: Candour

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