Rated G. Contains a menagerie.
Read by MA in PA.
Posted a day early in honor of Fen of Color United.
Change of Life
by K. Tempest Bradford
It all started because I wanted a pet. All of us younger kids did. But Mom always said that there wasn’t room for any pets cuz there were so many kids. She had a point, I guess. There were nine of us. But then David, my oldest brother, left home when he was only seventeen and a half to join the Peace Corps. Mom cried for three days straight. Dad said it was only because she was going through the Change of Life.
The day after she stopped crying there was a bunny in the living room. No cage, just a bunny. I guess Dad bought him hoping it would cheer Mom up–and it did. She sat on the couch holding the bunny for hours and told us all that we had a new family member: David the bunny. Katherine, my oldest sister, said that Mom named it David out of a sense of displacement or some other big word she liked to use just because she wanted to be a psychologist or a psychiatrist or some kind of person who messes with your head.
I wasn’t impressed. I wanted a dog.
About the Author
K. Tempest Bradford is a speculative fiction writer by night, a media critic and writing instructor by day, and a podcaster in the interstices. Her short fiction has appeared in multiple anthologies and magazines including Strange Horizons, Electric Velocipede, Diverse Energies, In the Shadow of the Towers, and many more. She’s the host of ORIGINality, a podcast about the roots of creative genius, and contributes to several more. Her media criticism and reviews can be found on NPR, io9, and in books about Time Lords. When not writing, she teaches classes on writing inclusive fiction through LitReactor and WritingtheOther.com. Visit her blog at KtempestBradford.com and her Patreon at patreon.com/ktempestbradford.