13: The Only Right We Have

Today I’m reading from a story that’s coming out this winter, “The Rats’ Man’s Lackey and the Forbidden Tinsel.”

I’d agreed to obey the rules. To walk away from my past, so that my demons couldn’t find me. This madhouse had no right to throw any of that in my face.

The thought calmed me.

Hiding in a root cellar while the opposition filled the house with bullets? The bad guys had no right to break their word. A teammate developed cancer? She’s the best person I know, this isn’t right! Any time I catch myself thinking about rights, I know I’ve derailed myself.

The only right we have is the right to die. Anything else, we claw out of the world.

I focused on my breath until I could think with more than my brainstem.

You got ding-dong ditched when your bellybutton still had a knotted cord attached—so freaking what? Your folks did what they thought best. Anything else would have been worse, and you came out okay. You had no right to this kind of Christmas, nobody gets this, and you’re too old to appreciate it properly anyway.

A couple of Rats’ Man’s Lackey tales are out already, with more coming soon.