• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 09


Ethel Brannigan
Has cornered the market
For a very special clientele.
They draw up, lower the window
Eyes hungry,
Motors running,
Hard men soft in their shell.
She leans in
She knows.
Ethel is floral, calm and powder-sweet
Her eyes are grey and big behind the lenses
Looking them over
Checking for wounds.
They start with simple stuff, the basics
But a small, apologetic smile and then the whispered wants appear
As Ethel’s warmth kneads them soft like cookie dough.
Knitting while they watch will cost them $50.
An extra 10 and they’ll get cocoa.
For a little more she’ll bake them something nice and listen to their day
And if they pay enough they’ll get the good stuff
A fairy tale or story
About how things used to be
Then Ethel will leave them
Safe and sound
Tucked in and safely small
While she looks out for other hungry souls to save.