• Patricia Grayhall

"Start With a Fairy Tale," my writing teacher said.


Once upon a time there was a young woman who thought she could have everything and anyone she wanted if she tried hard enough. Her mother had given her a magical cloak that had been very important to her mother which was made up of youth and beauty and could be used to attract objects of desire.

When she had the chance, the young woman went out into the wider world and enthusiastically began to sample its possibilities. At first, it was very exciting and with the arrogance of youth, she enjoyed trying this one and that one and even some that were off limits. In the process, she hurt other people which she did not like to do but she continued anyway.

Then the young woman came across someone who knocked her off balance and was also out sampling the world, crossing boundaries not meant to be crossed. She fell in love or lust with this person. But soon, she began to understand what it was like to be hurt by someone out of control sampling all possibilities.

The young woman learned that boundaries exist to protect tender feelings, so that within the bounds of trust and loyalty love can grow. If those boundaries are destroyed, those feelings may wither and take a long time to return. She also learned that lust is not love and although they may exist together for a limited time, love lasts far longer and is more valuable.

The cloak of youth and beauty began to lose its power and the young woman gradually left it behind. It did not seem to be working all that well anyway, and looking around, she found that other women had more beautiful cloaks. Eventually, she shed the cloak entirely, finding that love flourished without the cloak, leaving only a few tattered remnants that she still carried around.