Monstering

Disabled Women and Nonbinary People Celebrating Monsterhood

The Lucky Ones

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The lucky girls grow up into

monsters. We start young, running

over grass and mud and rocks, building

up the thick skin on our feet, our strong hides

growing up over our bodies. We learn Mine and

No, and we learn hunger and want. Our fingernails

grow into claws and we sharpen our teeth

into fangs and we let the hair grow wild

over our bodies.

Once that first transformation is complete, we

mature. We learn to disguise ourselves as

princesses, to paint our faces

into something trustworthy, to

rip out our fur and soften our claws

with Blossom Pink 063. We build up our

packs, matrilineal sisterhoods sharing secrets,

looking out for each other like no one looked out

for us before.

We hunt in groups, taking out our

predators before they can recognize us, defending ourselves

with teeth and nails and secret tricks

that have no names. We feed on the

hunters and the woodsmen and the princes

who would ensnare us, who would

make us soft and vulnerable. We are not for them,

we are for ourselves, and we return to our caves,

and our sisters comb out our hair and tear off our masks

and revel in our ferocity.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The photo shows the author from the chest up. She is standing in front of a grey wall at a three-quarter angle to the camera. Auburn bangs peek out from under a yellow knit hat, and she wears green tortoiseshell glasses. She has white skin, blue eyes, and her dark red lips are in a closed-mouth smile.

The photo shows the author from the chest up. She is standing in front of a grey wall at a three-quarter angle to the camera. Auburn bangs peek out from under a yellow knit hat, and she wears green tortoiseshell glasses. She has white skin, blue eyes, and her dark red lips are in a closed-mouth smile.

KAT RIDDELL is a writer and librarian currently based in South Dakota. She shares an apartment with an unfathomable mass of houseplants, an assortment of bones, and a truly overwhelming stash of craft supplies. She likes petting dogs, long walks in cemeteries, and lawns filled with dandelions. You can find her online at katriddellwrites.blogspot.com.