by LaShawn M. Wanak
read by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali
When a spiral staircase appears in front of you, don’t panic. Just know that if you place your feet on that first step, it shows commitment. You can’t go back. You can only go up and up and up until you reach the very top.
Watch your step. That’s the main thing to remember. Some people think they can race to the top, or take the steps two at a time. All it takes is one stumble, one slip, and soon you’re tumbling, arms pinwheeling, shins banging, down, down, down.
You don’t want to be rejected by a spiral staircase. It’s painful.
LaShawn M. Wanak was formerly Associate Editor at Podcastle. She stepped down to focus more on her writing. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter, as well as her blog, The Cafe in the Woods. “21 Steps to Enlightenment (Minus One)” is her second story in the Escape Artists family. Her story “Future Perfect” can be found at Escape Pod.
Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali lives in Houston, Texas with her husband of twenty-five years and three children. By day she works as a breast oncology nurse. At all other times she juggles, none too successfully, writing, reading, gaming and gardening. She has self-published one novel entitled An Unproductive Woman, has published a story at Escape Pod and has a story upcoming in the An Alphabet of Embers anthology. Khaalidah also reads slush at Escape Pod where she is on a mission to encourage more women to submit science fiction stories.
Of her alter ego, K from the planet Vega, it is rumored that she owns a time machine and knows the secret to long youth.
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