THE DONKEY CURSE

Incessant braying rouses me from slumber. Hot smelly breath wafts over my face. Waving at the offending odor earns another head splitting shriek. I pry open my eyes and stare at a pair of mournful brown globes on a long gray furry face. Nonsensical images flash through my mind as my head smacks the roof of the pickup. Another plaintive bray sends goose bumps up my spine…a very naked spine. Memories of last night escape me.

An old gypsy shoves the donkey away. Her bony fingers clench the edge of the car. The look in her eyes makes me shiver. Even the jingle of the silver bangles, that hang from her ears and arms, makes my skin crawl. I break from her gaze and watch a bronze medallion sway across her chest.

“You soulless wretch. You’ll pay for what you did.”

“I didn’t do anything.” At least that’s what I try to say. The words come out garbled.

The crone laughs and steps back. I jump from the car and run. Within three steps I trip over my own legs…all four of them. Head spinning, I lay on the sandy ground. I’m a donkey, a god damn donkey.

“You treated my granddaughter poorly last night. I gave you a body to fit your actions. You’ll need to earn your way back to human form.”

A coarse rope pulls me to my feet and down the road to a raven haired woman. Bruises model one side of her face and nail gouges mar both arms. Memories return. I did that. I back away and pray for escape, for another glass of whiskey. All I find is the crack of a whip.

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About A. L. Kaplan

I am a writer, artist, and parent.
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