Search Results for: "by Janet Aird"

Micro fiction: Email to a Friend by Janet Aird

Dear Sylvia,

I’m very afraid I’m going to lose Patty. I’ve been calling and texting and no reply. I guess I just have to wait till she’s ready to get back to me.

She believes in God and heaven.

Love,
Jenny

© Copyright 2016 Janet Aird. All rights reserved.
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Janet Aird has been a freelance writer for trade magazines in the field of sustainability for 15 years. Her first novel, “The End of the Road: A Love Story,” is coming out later this year.

#29 State of California vs Big Bad Wolf by Janet Aird

Excerpt from State of California vs Big Bad Wolf; closing statement of defense attorney for Mr. Wolf

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you’ve heard the evidence from the witnesses, and you’ve heard the closing statement by the prosecution that my client, Mr. Big Bad Wolf, did willfully and recklessly murder Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother. Without a doubt, my client is not guilty of this heinous crime.

On the day in question, my client witnessed little Miss Hood walking in the Deep Dark Forest all alone. As a longtime resident of these woods, he is aware that many dangerous creatures live there. Wolves never allow their cubs to go out into the woods by themselves. My client assumed that the little girl had wandered away from her home and was lost.

Desiring to take her back home, Mr. Wolf stopped her. Imagine his shock when little Miss Hood told him that her mother had sent her there. And when the little girl added that she was on an errand to take a basket of goodies to her sick grandmother, who lives in a cabin in the Arroyo on the other side of the woods, my client couldn’t believe his ears, as large as they are.

What kind of woman sends her little daughter on such a dangerous errand? And leaves her sick old mother to live all by herself on the far side of the woods? Did Mrs. Hood at least send medicine and soup to the old lady? No! She sent a basket of double double chocolate muffins. No wonder the old lady is sick, if that’s all she’s been eating.

My client watched Miss Hood go on her way, playing and picking flowers as she went. If he had wanted to eat the little girl, he could have done so easily then. Instead, he went to the grandmother’s cabin to check up on her. Knowing the woods as well as he does, he arrived long before little Miss Hood did. He knocked at the door, but to his horror, when the grandmother answered it, she took one look at my client and keeled over dead.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my client is a civilized wolf. He would never harm a hair on a little old lady’s head. But he is a wolf. And when a potential meal drops dead in front of him, his instinct will not let it go to waste. So he ate her. But he did not murder her.

Now, (ahem) we come to the delicate part. My client was hoping this wouldn’t become public knowledge, since he considers it a private matter. But a large portion of the prosecution’s case depends on the fact that when little Miss Hood arrived at the cabin, my client was in her grandmother’s bed, wearing her nightie. (Ahem) Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the fact is, my client happens to enjoy wearing women’s clothing occasionally. This may not be common wolf behavior, but it is not illegal, and it is certainly not an indication of his guilt.

Almost immediately, my client was overcome with exhaustion, and fell asleep on the old lady’s bed.

He was in a deep sleep when little Miss Hood woke him up and began asking him rude questions, like why his eyes and his ears were so big, and why he was wearing her grandmother’s nightie. It’s not surprising that he became irritated and started chasing her around the cabin. That was when the woodsman arrived and jumped to entirely the wrong conclusion. He called 911 and my client has been in jail awaiting trial ever since.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Mr. Wolf has been thoroughly traumatized by these events. The charge against him is clearly without foundation. It’s outrageous that he has been accused of such a vicious crime, when he was motivated only by concern for the little girl and her grandmother.

If anyone is responsible for this tragedy, we need look no further than Mrs. Hood, Little Red Riding Hood’s mother. First, she sent her young daughter into the woods all alone. Second, she didn’t even care enough to look after her own sick mother.

But ladies and gentlemen of the jury, if the truth be told, we are all responsible.

Wolves have lived in the Deep Dark Forest since time immemorial. Our woodsmen have clear-cut their trees. We have encased their streams in concrete and built housing tracts on their land. We expect them to obey our laws, in spite of the fact they have lived in accordance with nature’s for centuries.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I urge you to search your hearts. My client, Mr. Wolf, is a victim, not a criminal. It is your duty to find him not guilty and let him return to the woods where he belongs.

I rest my case.

© Copyright 2009 Janet Aird. All rights reserved.


Janet Aird writes technical and business articles about the environment for landscapers, arborists, farmers and professional water managers, but her true love is writing about relationships between people. Her articles, essays and short stories have been published in magazines and newspapers in the United States, Canada and England. Her story  “Downsized” appeared on this blog in May 2009.

#2 Downsized by Janet Aird

I’d always thought of Albert as a fairly predictable person, so when I came home from work one evening and found the living room drapes missing, I assumed he’d taken them to the dry cleaner.

He’s been stressed these last few months, ever since he was laid off from his job as an engineer at Caltech in Pasadena. A loyal, if unimaginative, employee for nine years, he hadn’t seen it coming, although almost half of his department had already gone.

I hadn’t realized how much of a shock it had been, though, and what effect it would have on me.

I have to admit, at first I enjoyed his being home during the day. He did all the cooking, and when he cleaned the house, he swept the cobwebs hanging from the ceiling. He even moved the furniture when he vacuumed. Except for our dwindling bank account, I’d have to say that the quality of my life had definitely improved.

Until I found out he’d sold the drapes on Craigslist.

“We can use the money,” he said. “Besides, I kept an extra set of sheets. I’ll hang them up instead.”

The next day he donated all the magazines I’d been meaning to read to the library. Then he went down to the thrift store with a load of clothing that I would have fit into as soon as I lost ten pounds.

One evening I came home to find pictures from our photograph albums scattered over the dining room table. “If we just keep the best ones we’ll only need one album,” he said, dropping a handful into the trash.

He gave away scraps of lumber we’d been saving for the day we might want to build something, and all the boxes we’d kept in case we ever moved. Then our furniture began to disappear. First, it was a few chairs we never used, then two ugly lamps, and then everything in the spare room. He threw out battered pots and pans, slightly worn clothing, shoes and sports equipment, anything scuffed, smudged, torn or loose. People from Craigslist were coming to the door at all hours of the day.

“You have to get out of the house,” I urged him, listening to my voice bounce against the bare walls. “You need to find a new job.”

He shrugged. “I can’t,” he said. “I’ve sold all my suits.”

I couldn’t leave the man I loved, although I had begun to dread coming home from work, wondering what else would be missing when I got there. I tried to talk him into seeing a therapist.

“I’m not the one who needs help,” he insisted. “I’m just trying to simplify our lives. It’s people like you, who need to be surrounded with clutter, who have a problem.”

A few days later as I pulled into the driveway after work, I noticed a rectangular shadow in the porch light. Wouldn’t you know it, he’d saved one last suitcase. And everything I owned fit inside.

© Copyright 2009 Janet Aird. All rights reserved.


Janet Aird writes technical and business articles about the environment for landscapers, arborists, farmers and professional water managers, but her true love is writing about relationships between people. Her articles, essays and short stories have been published in magazines and newspapers in the United States, Canada and England. “Downsized” was published in Stoneflower Literary Journal.

Congratulations Margaret Finnegan!


The Rose City Sisters 2009 “Story of the Year” is “Sweet Revenge” by Margaret Finnegan. Her story is a darkly comic cautionary tale about a man who eats the last piece of cake.

More than two dozen contributors were eligible to vote for their favorite of the seven finalist stories. The votes were tallied on Monday, January 25.

Margaret will get a certificate (suitable for posting on the refrigerator where slices of cake are sometimes stored) and a rose quartz-and-pearl necklace and earrings designed by Jill Pearson for Wasabi, a Pasadena-based jewelry company.

To learn more about Margaret, visit her website or read her blog, Finnegan Begin Again.

Congratulations to all the finalists:

Belinda’s Birthday by Petrea Burchard

Downsized by Janet Aird

Get Gone by Cindie Geddes

Glorietta and Red Bob Come to Terms by Laura L Mays Hoopes

A Losing Game by Bonnie Schroeder

Quicky by Desireé Zamorano

(Okay, fun’s over. Please submit more stories.)

Announcing the 2009 Story of the Year finalists

When I announced the competition in early December, Rose City Sisters contributors leaped into action and started sending readers to their their stories. Nearly 700 new visitors stopped by for a flash fiction fix in the last 30 days. Wow.

Today I used Goggle Analytics to determine the most popular seven stories of 2009. In the next few weeks, all 2009 contributors will have the chance to vote for the story of the year.

This combination of marketing and merit reflects a real-world scenario facing writers today. Writing isn’t enough—you need to promote your work as well.

The winner will receive a hand-knotted pearl and rose quartz necklace (with matching earrings) from Wasabi by Jill Pearson, a fine jewelry company based in Pasadena. The donation from Wasabi is much appreciated and far prettier than the certificate I had planned!

In alphabetical order, the finalists are:

Belinda’s Birthday by Petrea Burchard

Downsized by Janet Aird

Get Gone by Cindie Geddes

Glorietta and Red Bob Come to Terms by Laura L Mays Hoopes

A Losing Game by Bonnie Schroeder

Quicky by Desireé Zamorano

Sweet Revenge by Margaret Finnegan

The first story of 2010 will be posted on Friday, January 8. Please subscribe to the blog or become a follower to make sure you don’t miss any of the stories.