Yellow Mama Archives

Alyson Tait
Home
Adair, Jay
Adhikari, Sudeep
Ahern, Edward
Aldrich, Janet M.
Allan, T. N.
Allen, M. G.
Ammonds, Phillip J.
Anderson, Fred
Anderson, Peter
Andreopoulos, Elliott
Arab, Bint
Armstrong, Dini
Augustyn, P. K.
Aymar, E. A.
Babbs, James
Baber, Bill
Bagwell, Dennis
Bailey, Ashley
Bailey, Thomas
Baird, Meg
Bakala, Brendan
Baker, Nathan
Balaz, Joe
BAM
Barber, Shannon
Barker, Tom
Barlow, Tom
Bates, Jack
Bayly, Karen
Baugh, Darlene
Bauman, Michael
Baumgartner, Jessica Marie
Beale, Jonathan
Beck, George
Beckman, Paul
Benet, Esme
Bennett, Brett
Bennett, Charlie
Bennett, D. V.
Benton, Ralph
Berg, Carly
Berman, Daniel
Bernardara, Will Jr.
Berriozabal, Luis
Beveridge, Robert
Bickerstaff, Russ
Bigney, Tyler
Blackwell, C. W.
Bladon, Henry
Blake, Steven
Blakey, James
Bohem, Charlie Keys and Les
Bonner, Kim
Booth, Brenton
Boski, David
Bougger, Jason
Boyd, A. V.
Boyd, Morgan
Boyle, James
Bracey, DG
Brewka-Clark, Nancy
Britt, Alan
Broccoli, Jimmy
Brooke, j
Brown, R. Thomas
Brown, Sam
Bruce, K. Marvin
Burke, Wayne F.
Burnwell, Otto
Burton, Michael
Bushtalov, Denis
Butcher, Jonathan
Butkowski, Jason
Butler, Simon Hardy
Butler, Terence
Cameron, W. B.
Campbell, J. J.
Campbell, Jack Jr.
Cano, Valentina
Cardinale, Samuel
Cardoza, Dan A.
Carlton, Bob
Carr, Jennifer
Cartwright, Steve
Carver, Marc
Castle, Chris
Catlin, Alan
Centorbi, David
Chesler, Adam
Christensen, Jan
Clausen, Daniel
Clevenger, Victor
Clifton, Gary
Cmileski, Sue
Cody, Bethany
Coey, Jack
Coffey, James
Colasuonno, Alfonso
Condora, Maddisyn
Conley, Jen
Connor, Tod
Cooper, Malcolm Graham
Copes, Matthew
Coral, Jay
Corrigan, Mickey J.
Cosby, S. A.
Costello, Bruce
Cotton, Mark
Coverley, Harris
Crandall, Rob
Criscuolo, Carla
Crist, Kenneth
Cross, Thomas X.
D., Jack
Dallett, Cassandra
Danoski, Joseph V.
Daly, Sean
Davies, J. C.
Davis, Christopher
Davis, Michael D.
Day, Holly
de Bruler, Connor
Degani, Gay
De France, Steve
De La Garza, Lela Marie
Deming, Ruth Z.
Demmer, Calvin
De Neve, M. A.
Dennehy, John W.
DeVeau, Spencer
Di Chellis, Peter
Dillon, John J.
DiLorenzo, Ciro
Dilworth, Marcy
Dioguardi, Michael Anthony
Dionne, Ron
Dobson, Melissa
Domenichini, John
Dominelli, Rob
Doran, Phil
Doreski, William
Dority, Michael
Dorman, Roy
Doherty, Rachel
Dosser, Jeff
Doyle, Jacqueline
Doyle, John
Draime, Doug
Drake, Lena Judith
Dromey, John H.
Dubal, Paul Michael
Duke, Jason
Duncan, Gary
Dunham, T. Fox
Duschesneau, Pauline
Dunn, Robin Wyatt
Duxbury, Karen
Duy, Michelle
Eade, Kevin
Elliott, Garnett
Ellman, Neil
England, Kristina
Erianne, John
Espinosa, Maria
Esterholm, Jeff
Fabian, R. Gerry
Fallow, Jeff
Farren, Jim
Fedolfi, Leon
Fenster, Timothy
Ferraro, Diana
Filas, Cameron
Fillion, Tom
Fishbane, Craig
Fisher, Miles Ryan
Flanagan, Daniel N.
Flanagan, Ryan Quinn
Flynn, Jay
Fortunato, Chris
Francisco, Edward
Frank, Tim
Fugett, Brian
Funk, Matthew C.
Gann, Alan
Gardner, Cheryl Ann
Garvey, Kevin Z.
Gay, Sharon Frame
Gentile, Angelo
Genz, Brian
Giersbach, Walter
Gladeview, Lawrence
Glass, Donald
Goddard, L. B.
Godwin, Richard
Goff, Christopher
Golds, Stephen J.
Goss, Christopher
Gradowski, Janel
Graham, Sam
Grant, Christopher
Grant, Stewart
Greenberg, K.J. Hannah
Greenberg, Paul
Grey, John
Guirand, Leyla
Gunn, Johnny
Gurney, Kenneth P.
Hagerty, David
Haglund, Tobias
Halleck, Robert
Hamlin, Mason
Hanson, Christopher Kenneth
Hanson, Kip
Harrington, Jim
Harris, Bruce
Hart, GJ
Hartman, Michelle
Hartwell, Janet
Haskins, Chad
Hawley, Doug
Haycock, Brian
Hayes, A. J.
Hayes, John
Hayes, Peter W. J.
Heatley, Paul
Heimler, Heidi
Helmsley, Fiona
Hendry, Mark
Heslop, Karen
Heyns, Heather
Hilary, Sarah
Hill, Richard
Hivner, Christopher
Hockey, Matthew J.
Hogan, Andrew J.
Holderfield, Culley
Holton, Dave
Houlahan, Jeff
Howells, Ann
Hoy, J. L.
Huchu, Tendai
Hudson, Rick
Huffman, A. J.
Huguenin, Timothy G.
Huskey, Jason L.
Ippolito, Curtis
Irascible, Dr. I. M.
Jaggers, J. David
James, Christopher
Jarrett, Nigel
Jayne, Serena
Johnson, Beau
Johnson, Moctezuma
Johnson, Zakariah
Jones, D. S.
Jones, Erin J.
Jones, Mark
Kabel, Dana
Kanach, A.
Kaplan, Barry Jay
Kay, S.
Keaton, David James
Kempka, Hal
Kerins, Mike
Keshigian, Michael
Kevlock, Mark Joseph
King, Michelle Ann
Kirk, D.
Kitcher, William
Knott, Anthony
Koenig, Michael
Kokan, Bob
Kolarik, Andrew J.
Korpon, Nik
Kovacs, Norbert
Kovacs, Sandor
Kowalcyzk, Alec
Krafft, E. K.
Kunz, Dave
Lacks, Lee Todd
Lang, Preston
Larkham, Jack
La Rosa, F. Michael
Leasure, Colt
Leatherwood, Roger
Lees, Arlette
Lees, Lonni
Leins, Tom
Lemieux, Michael
Lemming, Jennifer
Lerner, Steven M
Leverone, Allan
Levine, Phyllis Peterson
Lewis, Cynthia Ruth
Lewis, LuAnn
Licht, Matthew
Lifshin, Lyn
Lilley, James
Liskey, Tom Darin
Lodge, Oliver
Lopez, Aurelio Rico III
Lorca, Aurelia
Lovisi, Gary
Lubaczewski, Paul
Lucas, Gregory E.
Lukas, Anthony
Lynch, Nulty
Lyon, Hillary
Lyons, Matthew
Mac, David
MacArthur, Jodi
Malone, Joe
Mann, Aiki
Manthorne, Julian
Manzolillo, Nicholas
Marcius, Cal
Marrotti, Michael
Mason, Wayne
Mathews, Bobby
Mattila, Matt
Matulich, Joel
McAdams, Liz
McCaffrey, Stanton
McCartney, Chris
McDaris, Catfish
McFarlane, Adam Beau
McGinley, Chris
McGinley, Jerry
McElhiney, Sean
McJunkin, Ambrose
McKim, Marci
McMannus, Jack
McQuiston, Rick
Mellon, Mark
Memi, Samantha
Middleton, Bradford
Miles, Marietta
Miller, Max
Minihan, Jeremiah
Montagna, Mitchel
Monson, Mike
Mooney, Christopher P.
Moran, Jacqueline M.
Morgan, Bill W.
Moss, David Harry
Mullins, Ian
Mulvihill, Michael
Muslim, Kristine Ong
Nardolilli, Ben
Nelson, Trevor
Nessly, Ray
Nester, Steven
Neuda, M. C.
Newell, Ben
Newman, Paul
Nielsen, Ayaz
Nobody, Ed
Nore, Abe
Numann, Randy
Ogurek, Douglas J.
O'Keefe, Sean
Orrico, Connor
Ortiz, Sergio
Pagel, Briane
Park, Jon
Parks, Garr
Parr, Rodger
Parrish, Rhonda
Partin-Nielsen, Judith
Peralez, R.
Perez, Juan M.
Perez, Robert Aguon
Peterson, Ross
Petroziello, Brian
Petska, Darrell
Pettie, Jack
Petyo, Robert
Phillips, Matt
Picher, Gabrielle
Pierce, Curtis
Pierce, Rob
Pietrzykowski, Marc
Plath, Rob
Pointer, David
Post, John
Powell, David
Power, Jed
Powers, M. P.
Praseth, Ram
Prazych, Richard
Priest, Ryan
Prusky, Steve
Pruitt, Eryk
Purfield, M. E.
Purkis, Gordon
Quinlan, Joseph R.
Quinn, Frank
Rabas, Kevin
Ragan, Robert
Ram, Sri
Rapth, Sam
Ravindra, Rudy
Reich, Betty
Renney, Mark
reutter, g emil
Rhatigan, Chris
Rhiel, Ann Marie
Ribshman, Kevin
Ricchiuti, Andrew
Richardson, Travis
Richey, John Lunar
Ridgeway, Kevin
Rihlmann, Brian
Ritchie, Bob
Ritchie, Salvadore
Robinson, John D.
Robinson, Kent
Rodgers, K. M.
Roger, Frank
Rose, Mandi
Rose, Mick
Rosenberger, Brian
Rosenblum, Mark
Rosmus, Cindy
Ruhlman, Walter
Rutherford, Scotch
Sahms, Diane
Saier, Monique
Salinas, Alex
Sanders, Isabelle
Sanders, Sebnem
Santo, Heather
Savage, Jack
Sayles, Betty J.
Schauber, Karen
Schneeweiss, Jonathan
Schraeder, E. F.
Schumejda, Rebecca
See, Tom
Sethi, Sanjeev
Sexton, Rex
Seymour, J. E.
Shaikh, Aftab Yusuf
Sheagren, Gerald E.
Shepherd, Robert
Shirey, D. L.
Shore, Donald D.
Short, John
Sim, Anton
Simmler, T. Maxim
Simpson, Henry
Sinisi, J. J.
Sixsmith, JD
Slagle, Cutter
Slaviero, Susan
Sloan, Frank
Small, Alan Edward
Smith, Brian J.
Smith, Ben
Smith, C.R.J.
Smith, Copper
Smith, Greg
Smith, Ian C.
Smith, Paul
Smith, Stephanie
Smith, Willie
Smuts, Carolyn
Snethen, Daniel G.
Snoody, Elmore
Sojka, Carol
Solender, Michael J.
Sortwell, Pete
Sparling, George
Spicer, David
Squirrell, William
Stanton, Henry G.
Steven, Michael
Stevens, J. B.
Stewart, Michael S.
Stickel, Anne
Stoler, Cathi
Stolec, Trina
Stoll, Don
Stryker, Joseph H.
Stucchio, Chris
Succre, Ray
Sullivan, Thomas
Surkiewicz, Joe
Swanson, Peter
Swartz, Justin A.
Sweet, John
Tarbard, Grant
Tait, Alyson
Taylor, J. M.
Thompson, John L.
Thompson, Phillip
Ticktin, Ruth
Tillman, Stephen
Titus, Lori
Tivey, Lauren
Tobin, Tim
Torrence, Ron
Tu, Andy
Turner, Lamont A.
Tustin, John
Ullerich, Eric
Valent, Raymond A.
Valvis, James
Vilhotti, Jerry
Waldman, Dr. Mel
Walker, Dustin
Walsh, Patricia
Walters, Luke
Ward, Emma
Washburn, Joseph
Watt, Max
Weber, R.O.
Weil, Lester L.
White, Judy Friedman
White, Robb
White, Terry
Wickham, Alice
Wilhide, Zach
Williams, K. A.
Wilsky, Jim
Wilson, Robley
Wilson, Tabitha
Woodland, Francis
Woods, Jonathan
Young, Mark
Yuan, Changming
Zackel, Fred
Zafiro, Frank
Zapata, Angel
Zee, Carly
Zeigler, Martin
Zimmerman, Thomas

When the Omen Follows You Home.

Alyson Tait

 

 

There was a time when Venice was easy to be in.

I’d left home; I’d traveled, seen death, felt grief, and returned — the city welcomed me, begged me to leave my small apartment and breathe the moving air.

I wandered during daylight hours, watching the others who moved about, gazed at those moving to and from their jobs and families. Two things I had been avoiding after the army had sent me home.

That habit was how I came to meet the omen by the river.

When I first saw the old woman, she stared into the murky water of the river, one hand resting on a thick, gnarled, wooden cane. She had tied her dress with impossible ruffles on her back, and every so often - the fabric moved.

Most things seemed to slip right past her unseen, unheard, uncared for. But when a crow flew near and screeched its mournful greeting, she turned.

And so I named her Morrigan.

Whenever she looked around, her eyes pierced through everything and everyone they landed on. Anything that dared force her to enter the mortal realm was a threat and risked its imminent demise. 

I worried that if those eyes looked at me, they would burn the heart right out of me. I would succumb to a trance-like-death, probably with a smile on my lips but otherwise terror on my face. Nevertheless, A voice inside me insisted I keep an eye on her.

So I did.

When I started watching her with purpose, I did it through my binoculars — confident that I was far enough away to avoid drawing attention to myself—hidden enough that her eyes couldn’t make contact with mine. I had chosen a spot high atop a building, borrowing the terrace and spare bedroom of an old schoolhouse friend.

Morrigan eluded me in many ways, despite my planning; for instance, I failed to wake up early enough to see her arrive. I failed to stay awake long enough to see her leave. And one day, after weeks of nothing but watching this woman as if my life depended on it, I realized I had failed to keep myself hidden.

The sun was high in the sky, casting glares on the river and sliding long shadows off all the buildings. My eyes burned as I stared at her, moving from feet to face and up again. I looked at her back — where her dress bundled like a fabric package, a veil for something I didn’t understand — and when my vision settled, I gasped.

The noise shot from my mouth when I realized the bundle was not her dress. It was long, silky black wings that fluttered at my exclamation. In an instant, a different movement caught my eye. Her face had shifted, and she was no longer staring at the restless water. Instead, with a wide, crooked smile that bore no perfect teeth, she looked directly at me.

She made eye contact despite being hundreds of feet away.

My fingers betrayed me, and I dropped my binoculars in shock. The metal things bounced off the patio’s surface, once, then twice, then slid swiftly underneath the railing. It seemed comedic in its path.

I let out an unattractive guffaw, then heard it mirrored back, but distorted. It had become sharper and smaller.

There was not just one bird before me, but half a dozen in number. A murder of crows hovered in front of me, holding my binoculars in the beaks of those willing to carry it. My possession hung from the strap I had failed to wrap behind my head.

I stared until I blinked, and when I did, the old woman and her magnificent wings had replaced the crows. Morrigan indeed; I had never expected my private joke to be a myth that had come true to haunt me.

I may have screamed.

She might have laughed.

The next morning came with hazy details on falling asleep and wondering where nightmares and reality separated. I picked my binoculars off the chair, and although I hesitated strongly, I ended up putting them over my eyes and looking down toward my city’s fabled river.

Morrigan stood, cane in hand and eyes staring downward as they had always been. Her wings…

They appeared as a clot of dress upon her back. I couldn’t see her lips to know if she was smiling, and I didn’t dare get close to her. In fact, when she adjusted her stance to shift her weight, I flinched.

I flinched so hard the binoculars dropped again. This time with a single thud.

I went home that day, drafting a message in my head to tell my mother when I got home. A way to explain why I hadn’t been answering her calls, and a reason I was back at her doorstep...

I drafted this message for hours — sitting in the taxi in front of my childhood home. But it never mattered; the message never got delivered.

I hadn’t just stumbled upon the old lady. Morrigan hadn’t merely been playing a trick on a secret admirer. She’d been very clear. I guessed that she’d waited as long as she could to tell me. But in the end, even magic can’t control a person’s fate.

Seven days later, we held my mother’s funeral. There at the very back of the crowd, tucked behind the last tree of the graveyard, she stood with her hand on her cane, and her wings unfurled.

That time, I admit — I screamed. 

Morrigan laughed, although the sound didn’t seem to travel. It occurred to me then, a more profound revelation, that maybe she hasn’t bided her time at all. Perhaps she was one of many, and I was her charge. The duty she carries in her pocket.

The epicenter of death and darkness. 

          To tell the truth...I have yet to prove myself wrong. 


Alyson lives in Maryland where she got married, had her daughter, and began her writing journey. She has appeared in Altered Reality Magazine and (mac)ro(mic). You can find her on twitter @rudexvirus1

In Association with Fossil Publications