Marion liked the man on television, the one that talked about being bound in a nutshell and becoming the king of space. He had wide, wild eyes and an askew grin. Marion felt like that most of the time. Wild and askew. Her family didn’t understand her, but the man would.
Unfortunately, she couldn’t figure out how to be bound *in* a nutshell. The biggest nut she had in her collection, the brainy-looking walnut, fit easily in the palm of her hand. She couldn’t become small enough to go inside it.
The thought wormed its way into her thoughts even though she didn’t want it to.
If she cracked the walnut open and ate the insides.
But she had never cracked any of the nuts in her collection. Never ate them! Her sister threatened. Her sister ate the nuts from her Christmas stocking every year, all of them…except the walnuts.
Yes. The walnut. To be the queen of space, she would sacrifice it.
Scared, she held the nut steady, crenelated meat mallet in her other hand. With one deep breath, she brought the mallet down. The shell cracked and the awful noise tore into her mind, into her soul.
Space was cool and quiet. Marion didn’t find the king, but in the end, she doubted that he would have understood about the walnut either.