The Specials, Everyday Mathematics, & Three Princesses

The Specials
Rachel Karyo

Tonight, we’ve got dry-aged, grass fed, thick-cut loneliness. Pan seared insecurity on a bed of disgust. We’re doing flame broiled shame, drizzled with despair. A beautiful slow roasted regret. How hungry are you? You could order a couple of small plates: some pickled paranoia, soft boiled envy, marinated misgivings, fermented frustration. Do you like anxiety? I always look forward to anxiety season, and the anxiety this year is unbelievable, maybe because of the freakishly cold winter, I don’t know, but I can’t get enough of it, at this point, I’m basically living on anxiety. Fried sadness, baked sadness, sadness steamed, sadness broiled, personally, I like my sadness blackened. Are we celebrating a special occasion this evening? Do you need a moment to decide? Take your time. I’ll be right back. Just so you know, the bewilderment has bones.
Everyday Mathematics
Rachel Karyo

A mother realizes that although she often says correct and helpful things to her children, she makes twice as many foolish remarks. Two times as much is double the amount, thinks the mother, and despairs. But then the mother remembers that the children only listen to approximately half of what she says and often misunderstand the remainder. Additionally, the children tend to hear only what they want to hear, and, perhaps of equal or greater significance, most of what they hear they forget. Considering these factors, the mother figures that whatever she says to her children will make zero difference. But is her estimate reasonable?
Three Princesses
Rachel Karyo

Once there was a princess who spent a lot of time hiding in her bedroom, trying to ignore the laughing, creaking, and moaning sounds outside her window. She liked to distract herself by working on her miniature castle. The princess who lived inside the miniature castle spent most of her time looking through her telescope out her bedroom window. Through careful observation, the miniature princess had come to understand that her castle was situated inside a giant bedroom, inside a giant castle. The miniature princess did not know that the giant castle itself was situated inside an even larger bedroom, inside an even larger castle. The princess who lived inside the even larger castle also spent a lot of time in her bedroom. This princess, however, did not enjoy looking through her telescope or working on her miniature castle. She had other interests.

Rachel Karyo’s writing has appeared in various literary journals and anthologies, including Noctua Review, Lumina Online, RipRap, Cease, Cows, Liars’ League, Silent Auctions, Sand, and Belletrist. Her first chapbook, Sometimes at Parties, will be published by dancing girl press later this year. Rachel lives in Seattle.

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