Karen is a long-time resident of Cobourg.
She began writing very short fiction and creative nonfiction, prose poetry and words in art in 2019. Her stories — often odd, absurd, funny — appear in more than thirty international print and digital literary journals and anthologies.
Karen can be found with her family or out in her garden. Sometimes she tweets @MeKawalker883
The Key to Erica’s Lemon and Fig Cupcakes
in Roi Fainéant Literary Press
2-1/2 cups plain flour: mother-in-law Vera
8 tablespoons butter: Dan, my hubby.
1-3/4 cups sugar: “Let’s host my sister’s engagement party!” said he sweetly.
1-1/4 cups whole milk: our new kitchen. Said: “Let’s show it off!”
2 large eggs: Kayla and Kyle, bride-and-groom-to-be. They won’t last. Breakable.
1/4 teaspoon salt: Vera will rub it in at the party: “Ever gonna give me a grandbaby?”
1/2 cup lemon juice squeezed from her sneer.
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder: my surprise. It’ll get a rise.
1/2 cup diced figs: fresh, gooey. To close mouths—including Dan’s—that may hang open.
The flour and the eggs blend, pour on the sugar as butter opens the door. The mixture takes in the milk and our kitchen, sniffs: “Too white.”
Bake that at 350˚F for 20-25 minutes. Cool, say: “My bun in the oven will take longer.” Sprinkling “Bitch” and/or icing sugar optional. Serve and enjoy.
Minute one: I tell Phil he’ll be free. No more vomiting, pain, or bitter pills. That he’ll run fast again. That there’ll be lots of squirrels and sunshine forever. Minute two: I tell him I love him, filling sixty seconds with our nine years. Three: Force a smile and laugh about puppyhood. How he chewed new carpet, once pooped on the bed. Whaaat? I sob through minute four, tracing the black stripes in his grey fur. Five: Kiss Phil’s long nose, hug him, then nod to the vet. I watch his chest rise and fall, rise and fall. Rise. Fall.
Water Garden in The Hamptons
A bronzed trophy wife on a pedestal—her smile weathered verdigris—spits tea into pink and yellow china bobbing on the water. Finger sandwiches float on lily pads: watercress for the turtle (her husband’s law partner), smoked salmon for the picky heron heiress. Salamander debutantes impress with shine and tiny appetites. Someone’s raccoon uncle washes his lecherous hands. Frogs—green bachelors vain about their shapely legs—breaststroke. Goldfish brats wrestle over macarons, madeleines circulating on silver bubbles as social media damselflies in sheer sundresses, fussing about the splash and the insult to the hostess, tweet to the great unwashed.