October 27, 2015 Comments Off on The Little Story of Our Kindness By Aria Riding
All of us ladies gave birth to monsters at the same time, which was not surprising since we were always getting our periods at the same time. Even so, we all hid it from each other because we all thought it should be kept a terrible secret, but you know, we can’t keep secrets. One day we all came together for tea without our four-day old babies, which was a pretty suspicious coincidence, and because we couldn’t keep our mouths shut, after a few extremely unconvincing lies, our pitches rising, beads of perspiration delicately trembling on the veins protruding from our anxious foreheads as we tried to out-banshee each other in shrill, overly loud, defensive voices, the jig was up. What a relief! There came a battery of hugging, nervous laughter, and expansive gesturing as we all empathized with each other, although each of us was secretly convinced that the calamity was probably the fault of whichever one of us we were biding resentment towards that afternoon. Even so, we worked through it and arranged a drowning party for everyone except E., who we sensed was presently the weakest among us. She could deal with her monstrous baby on her own. Three days later, an apparent fellowship of mutual sympathies met at the river under the moonlight — save one. In all and uncomfortable, we laughed over the cooing and gurgling sounds, which, coming from the deformed mouths of our children, seemed exaggerated and contorted. Not the sounds of human children, sounds that we would stifle when our hands laid their irregular little bodies in the river and submerged their enormous heads. We made sure to let each other see tears through trembling prayers until the resistance ceased. Until the ripples ceased. But M.’s swam away from her. Was seen arcing its briny back in the silver shimmers of the moon. Then it was gone. We felt a little nervous, as if we had ostracized the wrong person.
© 2015 Aria Riding
Aria Riding was once awarded China’s prestigious medal for “kindest little girl in the world.” She is seeking representation and publication for her dissident, experimental novel, The Exhibitionists. Riding was awarded the Mary McCarthy Prize for fiction while attending Bard College. She studied with Bradford Morrow (editor, Conjunctions), William Weaver (translator, Umberto Eco) and the poet Robert Kelly. She has been published in the Southern Voice Newspaper, YAWP, Lydia Lunch’s Widowspeak, and numerous small press journals. Riding is the co-founder of Lost Dance Project and Psychomachia Theater and member of Caligula Cartel.