Dynamite by Michelle McEwen

I’m a Cancer so I have a hard shell ’round my soft heart— that’s what the horoscopes say and I believe ’em. What I don’t understand is that I’ve been a Cancer all my life, but I ain’t always have this hard shell. Always had this soft heart, though. I used to be a giving woman— gave without thinking, without worryin’ about myself. Long as I was shelling out love, I was fine. Didn’t matter if I got hurt, I’d give and give. Wasn’t ’til I met this bullyin’ Virgo that I started growing this shell. He hurt me like I ain’t never allowed myself to be hurt before. He only thought of hisself and kept me cryin’ over all them other women. He’d say, “If you don’t brown my biscuits how I like ’em, there’s a woman over on Jackson Boulevard who’ll brown ’em right!” I shoulda told him to gone on to Jackson Boulevard. He told me about all his women: Brenda who was into women, Shelby who had meat on her bones, and Tina who worked the way a man oughta. Of course, there were more and I knew (still know) all their names. They ain’t know about me. He said I wasn’t important enough to know; said I’d never be until I brought home more bread, cooked better, and got me some hip fat. He chewed me up; spit me out— that’s why I got this ol’ hard shell. Gonna take dynamite to break it.


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Filed under Michelle McEwen

12 responses to “Dynamite by Michelle McEwen

  1. Missy

    Love your use of broken shell!! Love the voice and the narrator and the descriptions of the other women.

    And Cancers rock!!

    This is so creative. And the “Bullyin’ virgo” — good transition.

  2. Michael Parker

    LOVE THIS! Powerful! Sad! The opening and closing lines are perfect! masterfully written!

  3. Voice is so good here, you can see this poor woman and feel the suffering. I love the start with Cancer, the shell, the soft heart: she’s like a soft-shell crab.
    Sweetly done, lovely story!

  4. Shana

    Once again, good stuff!

  5. Very solid character study (of both of them). My heart breaks for her!

  6. So sad, and beautifully written. Lyrical and lovely use of voice.

  7. Pingback: Week #45 – Broken shells | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  8. Alexandra Pereira

    Loved the voice. Well done. :-)

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