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Rae Hallstrom

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The Tomato and the Dragon
By Rae Hallstrom
Thursday, July 06, 2006

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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Here is the opening of this modern-day fable. For the rest of the story, see Releasing Times magazine, May 2006.



            A long time ago in a place with no name, this woman—the one with the peach-brown lipstick—wore thick bangs like sunscreen.  The bangs concealed the gravel someone had ground into her forehead with the heel of a shoe.  Her clothing was always high-necked, even in the summer.  You might wonder what else she was hiding.  This woman—the one shuffling papers at the podium, the one tapping the microphone, the one who is not afraid of anything—used to be as quiet as a tomato plant.

            This woman could be me.  Change her hair, change her skin color, change her taste in music or men, and this woman could be you.  Shave off ten or twenty pounds, and she could be the sister you envy.  Add three inches to the bust, dust her with baking powder and take away her voice, and she could be the mother you wish you’d had, the one who never found fault in you.  Subtract the wrinkles, pack all the years past puberty into a hatbox named “Future,” and she is the daughter who has it made.

            This woman cannot remember when she let herself become invisible.  Deciding to give in and give up took a long time.  But, the deciding is not so important—not as much as the un-deciding.  That is what this woman wants to share.  That is why she is in a low-cut dress with her hair pulled back from her face.  That is why she did not take her own life... 




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Reviewed by Jean Pike 3/4/2007
I must say, Rae, you do have an incredible knack for opening a story. I have read both this one, and the one about the two spinster sisters. Excellent work. Now I must find out how to get to the magazines so I can read the rest!
Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado 7/7/2006
Good one, Rae! Very well done! :)
Reviewed by Kenneth Seay 7/6/2006
You go girl! lol That sounds nice.

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