There are minotaurs along the way to school. They drive by in their cars, their big, bovine heads sticking out of the windows—ties flapping in the breeze. Others back out of driveways while waving in the rearview mirrors to their wives. In the doorway of their houses stand their normal wives, in curlers and robes with coffee in hand, waving back. My mother and grandmother and great-grandmother always say that only a very wicked woman would love a minotaur.
In front of the Five and Dime, other minotaurs—great shaggy heads gray with age, eyes dull with cataracts—sit in rocking chairs. They chew their cud, ruminate, and rock as a herd. One lifts his head, sniffs the air, and something like a memory flashes in his eyes. This moment passes and he resumes rocking.
Right before we reach school, we pass the pool hall. The minotaurs there, young and swift, emerge. They stomp the ground, snort great billows of air, and charge at us while grasping at our skirts. The other girls shriek and stampede towards the school. Nimble, I flit past them. Only the hem of my skirt brushes their fingertips.
Melissa Gardner lives on the Gulf Coast of Alabama, where she works as a reference librarian at a local community college by day and teaches online creative writing classes for Southern New Hampshire University by night. She also conducts adult fiction workshops for Inked Voices and holds degrees in Studio Art (BFA, Austin Peay State University), English/Creative Writing (MA, University of South Alabama), and Creative Writing/Fiction (MFA, Seattle Pacific University).