Three women sit cozied by the fire.
All is winter white outside.
Vicious winds cause whirlwinds.
Icicles hang from eaves.
The story begins. Mother sets the scene. Ominous. Eerie.
The man from the woods listens at the window.
Eldest daughter builds tension in the second act, hauntingly embellishing details.
He’s impressed by her imitation of voices for each character.
Youngest pauses perfectly before the ghastly ending.
The man shivers.
“Just like Father told it,” Eldest says. They smile.
“I’m so proud,” the man whispers before retreating to the trees, leaving no fog upon the pane, no footprints in the snow.
Jennifer Patino is an enrolled member of the LCO Ojibwe tribe residing in Las Vegas. When she isn’t writing poetry and dabbling in flash fiction, she can be found drowning in a lake of unread books or engrossed in a film. She blogs at www.thistlethoughts.com and tweets @thoughtthistles.
Selected by the editor as a featured submission, May 2022