Rated R: For Skulls, Sweet and Otherwise, and Days of the Dead
by Kiini Ibura Salaam
It is legend how my mother kept my grandmother’s eye sockets clean with the pure white feather of a cockatoo. She often sent me to the forests to pick marigolds to stack high around Grandmother’s skull. Grandmother loved the smell of the marigolds. She told me so every time I entered the house with an armful of fragrant weeds.
After my grandmother’s head had been sitting in the altar room for a month, my mother realized my grandmother was dying, not because of her missing body, but because she was bored. Mother brought Grandmother into the living room and positioned her right in front of the window. There Grandmother sat happily for a week until Dad caught her promising her skull to an epileptic candy vendor.
About the Author
Kiini Ibura Salaam is a writer, painter, and traveler from New Orleans, Louisiana. The middle child of five, she grew up in a hardscrabble neighborhood with oak and fig trees, locusts and mosquitoes, cousins and neighbors. Kiini’s work delves into spheres of human liberation, human connection, and evolution. She employs speculative fiction, erotica, and creative nonfiction to take readers through mind-bending journeys into the transcendent, the sensual, the mystical, and the fantastic.
About the Narrator
Ann Leckie is the author of the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Award winning novel Ancillary Justice. She has worked as a waitress, a receptionist, a rodman on a land-surveying crew, and a recording engineer. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.