15 Every 15: The Good Story


My daughter is a storyteller. She collects words as readily as rocks and plant seeds. While bits of nature fill her pockets, her mind fills with tools for her stories.

As soon as she knew how to speak a sentence, she recounted her observations in rambling detail and her dreams in disturbing clarity. She not only tells the story, she performs it. Her hands wave in the air and her voice changes to set the mood.

This is the micro version of her favorite story to tell when she was four years old. She insisted it was “the good story”. I would try every time to rewrite the story into a happier version, yet she held on to the key points that gave her versions a darker tone.

Her versions are better, anyway. Here’s a summary of how her story might go.

A dragon burns a forest. Men from a nearby village go into what remains of the forest. They kill the dragon. The dragon becomes a hill. The forest regrows. A man enters the forest and sees the hill “bulge” [a word she learned for this story]. Out flies a dragon! The village is burned.

This comes to mind when I see a gray series of hills or mountains now. I envision the corpses of dragons waiting to reanimate.

The Rockies will never look the same.

This is the last part of my 15 Every 15 series. Keep an eye out for the line cards all together in an upcoming post and remember to comment on your favorite part of the series. Thank you for reading!


15 Every 15: Coping

"Nightmare" © Ann M. Lynn


The last day of September feels like an awkward time to post a piece this dark. Autumn started a week ago, harvesting the crops that grew over the summer, making this a time of preparing the soil for next year, and planning for holidays known for treats and companionship.

However, anyone who follows big news stories and politics or has been caught in the worst of this month’s storms is seeing this isn’t the time of plenty for all. Too many people were already struggling for basic comforts. Looking forward to the future doesn’t always bring a sense of longing.

For me, I’m frequently reminded of what I have that I didn’t grow up with. I can go to bed, intending to sleep, without needing to prepare myself for that night’s fight, prepared to claw my way out of nightmares again and again.

The last year brought several of my repeating nightmares out into the daylight. That’s when I realized how much my fears needed expression. I felt as if I was a keeper of darkness that, when shared, helps others see what they refused to face.

It’s funny that I’m acknowledging this feeling years after creating this blog, Shadows in Mind. Understanding oneself takes patience.

This is a part of my 15 Every 15 series. Check back October 15 for the next edition.

15 Every 15: Violation

"Violation" © Ann M. Lynn


Author Commentary about “Violation”:

I know. This piece doesn’t read as fiction. What inspired it was an idea of a sentient machine responding to a routine procedure. The violating human is unaware of the artificial intelligence and the distress the procedure causes.

The words drafted on paper (as this was originally written on dried tree pulp) spoke for a quiet, desperate part of me. I realized it could speak for too many others in real life.

This is a part of my 15 Every 15 series. Check back September 15 for the next edition.

15 Every 15: Fly

Fly © Ann M. Lynn


My father-in-law was told after a war injury that he would never walk again.

He walks.

My aunt was told that she died years ago.

She lives.

I have known people who believe that once broken, one is broken forever.

Yet I heal.

Don’t listen to the voices that would keep you from spreading your wings.


This is the first of my 15 Every 15 series. Check back August 1 for the next edition.