Rose Red

Rose Red
AJ Mullican

Queen Rose was beloved by her subjects for her beauty, but feared for her ruthlessness. She was incredibly jealous of any other beautiful woman, and would often have other women arrested on false charges of witchcraft when her spies told her that there was a woman more beautiful than she living in her kingdom.
The irony in this was that the queen was a witch herself, though she never let even her closest advisors know of this. She kept her powers secret, for if they were discovered she would be burned at the stake.
One day, Queen Rose heard whispers of a most beautiful young woman with snow-white skin that had arrived in her lands. This woman was reported by her spies as being the most beautiful woman that anyone had ever seen. The queen was seething with anger, and ordered the woman arrested and burned at once.
The queen’s guard set out the next day to capture the woman and bring her to court for sentencing. However, they returned empty handed, and the queen was quite distressed. She demanded to know why the woman had not been brought before her to face judgment for her crimes.
‘O, my queen, I could not bear to arrest her,’ said the captain of the guard. ‘She was so beautiful that I knew there could be no way she could be a witch. Certainly the information that Your Highness received must have been wrong. This poor girl is merely traveling the lands searching for the finest of apples to bring back to her ailing mother.’
Queen Rose was furious, but she quickly thought up a plan. ‘The poor dear,’ she said to her captain. ‘Please bring her to us so that we may properly apologize for the false testimony. And have some apples brought from our private orchard. The royal apples are the juiciest and sweetest in the land, and surely her mother would delight in tasting them.’
The guards brought the girl to the queen the next day, completely unaware that the queen had bespelled an apple with a vicious poison. Queen Rose offered the young woman an apple, and the girl reached out to take it.
As soon as the girl touched the apple, it split open to reveal a maw of large sharp teeth. The teeth bit off the queen’s hand, and the queen screamed.
‘That wasn’t supposed to happen!’ the queen shrieked. ‘The spell was supposed to kill you when you touched it!’
The guards and nobles were all shocked at the queen’s confession. They watched in horror as the apple gobbled up the queen. Queen Rose screamed and cursed the beautiful girl, claiming until her dying breath that the girl was a witch who had tricked her.
Because Queen Rose died without an heir, and because the woman with snow-white skin was so beautiful and so beloved for revealing the queen’s trickery, she was crowned the new queen.
The new queen ruled mercifully, and it was never discovered that she, too, was a witch, and that she had known of Queen Rose’s deceit. She had put a spell on the apple the moment that she touched it to give the fruit the jaws and teeth of a wolf so that it may devour the queen.
The snow-white queen’s rule was long and fair, and her subjects lived happily ever after.


My boss dropped me off a few blocks from home. Being that it was after midnight, I had to decide between walking home and getting what little sleep I could and driving around until time to get back to work at 0600.

Apparently I thought driving to Tucson for some shopping was a good way to kill the time.

I arrived just after daybreak, and though I was able to get into the mall and there were even some stores open, I couldn’t find a food stand or restaurant open for me to get some food. I opted for window shopping until something was open and I could sate my hunger.

After a browsing a couple of clothing stores, I found an art store where my former boss from a previous job was working. She was so happy to see me that she offered me some free art supplies. I picked out a book on how to draw violent attacks and injuries as well as a couple of Copic markers (they only had the two colors in stock anyway). My old boss was busy at the register when I was done.

While I waited, a guy I went to high school with approached me asking for my phone number. He seemed proud of the fact that he remembered how to spell my name (except he had gotten it quite wrong) and asked for my phone number. I tried to tell him that I was married, but he didn’t seem to care.

By that point it finally hit me that if the sun was out I was definitely late for work, so I went back in time and still got there a little late. We were getting inspected, and everyone was rushing to get ready without me there. I found my art supplies in my locker, where they had been delivered after my former boss packed them up, and I asked a friend from college if the Copic markers were good for my art. She wasn’t fond of them, but I didn’t have time to ask more questions because the doctor and everyone else were quite angry at me, so I tried to find some scrubs that fit. There were none.

As the panic continued, I ran around half naked trying to find appropriate scrubs. I thought for sure I would be fired for this.

…Then I woke up.

Little Bunny FooFoo

Little Bunny FooFoo

AJ Mullican

Bill and Mary decided to adopt a bunny for their little boy Adrian as an Easter present. Adrian was so excited he jumped and squealed and clapped his hands. Being the imaginative three-year-old that he was, and being that “Little Bunny FooFoo” was his favorite song, he named his new rabbit “FooFoo.”

What Bill and Mary hadn’t anticipated was FooFoo’s delicate nature. Unlike, say, a puppy, FooFoo couldn’t take being so roughly handled, as three-year-olds are wont to do.

A week after FooFoo came to Bill and Mary’s house, he died.

A week after that, the headaches began.

Adrian began waking with pounding headaches every morning. Adrian complained that it felt like he’d been hit on the head in his sleep. Bill and Mary tried to reassure him, but after a month Adrian grew to be terrified of sleeping. For a little while, they let him sleep in their room with them, but they eventually grew tired of his nonsense and insisted that he sleep in his own room again like a big boy.

The next morning, Bill and Mary woke to find Adrian dead in his room, his skull bashed in. On the wall these words were scrawled.

“Little Bunny FooFoo, hopping through his new house

“Catching all the children

“And bopping them on the head.”

Leaves on the Wind

Leaves on the Wind

AJ Mullican

Annalise looked up at the strange old tree, its leaves and branches always stretched to the west as though it was trying to grasp the last vestiges of each day’s light. She had met Jonathan there, and it was under this tree that they were most happy.

Under this tree, they had grown from small children to sophisticated adults. Jonathan had first kissed her under this tree. He had proposed under this tree. Their children had grown under this tree, coming to it every day the weather allowed.

They called it “their” tree, as though someone could own a piece of forest older than man itself. How many times had they played tag under its branches? How many times had they climbed it? How many times had their children played under it? It was impossible to count.

Jonathan had been called to join the war two years ago. It made her terribly sad, but every day she came to their tree and prayed for his return.

That morning he had returned, or rather, his body had.

Holding her children’s hands firmly in hers, Annalise cried silent tears as she trudged up the hill to their tree.

“Let’s play a game, children,” she said, handing each the ends of some lengths of rope she’d brought. “Thomas, I want you to climb onto the strongest branch you can find and toss the ropes over it. Emma, I want you to tie your ends to the trunk of the tree here. Make sure your knots are good and strong.”

Emma looked up at her with the innocence of youth. “What are we doing, Mommy?”

Annalise smiled and patted her daughter’s brown curls. “We’re going to hang some presents to honor your daddy’s memory. Won’t that be fun?”

“Is that what the flowers are for?”

“You’ll see, sweetie.”

Their work took little time, and soon the ropes were hanging over the branch, swaying in the wind. Annalise took the free ends and tied some knots of her own.

“Momma,” Thomas piped up, “Those knots are too big to hold flowers. What are we hanging for Daddy?”

She didn’t answer the question. Instead, she asked the children to climb the tree with her.

“Now Emma,” she said, “This part I need Thomas’s help with. Close your eyes dear, because it’s a surprise.”

Emma closed her eyes like the good little girl she was. She didn’t see her mother clamp her hand over Thomas’s mouth. Didn’t see the loop of the rope tightened around his neck. Emma didn’t realize what was happening until it was too late.

By the time Annalise and her children were found, swinging like leaves in the wind, the birds had nearly picked them clean.

Au(dio art)istic

Got half of my poetry book recorded this morning. I’m loving the spare bedroom in the new apartment. No background noise from the jet-engine air conditioner of the old apartment.

Tomorrow I plan on finishing my recordings, then comes the challenge of trying to figure out how to merge all the files. I’m no one-take wonder, so there has been a lot of swearing and deleting mistakes. If I knew how to cut out errors it might be easier, but I figured that by recording each poem separately I wouldn’t go insane from having to restart the whole thing from the beginning every time I tripped over a word.

Progress on my novel has been temporarily paused until I can get these recordings done. It’s still brewing in the back of my head, though. I’ve got to think of more trouble to get Serenity Hope into before I (maybe) get her out of it. 😉


I can’t seem to decide what I want to do artistically lately. Or rather, I want to do too many things.

I’m going to attempt to record some of my poetry soon (now that we have an extra room) so that I can hopefully publish it in ebook form.

I have started two new polymer clay projects that I hope to bake soon, and I am still plugging along with my novel.

Lots of things I want to do and not enough attention span to finish all of them lol

Weaving loose threads

So I’ve noticed that I have been writing in fairly important things in the story line and then forgetting to keep track of those loose ends. They’re not plot holes exactly, more like things I wrote in that I made sound important (which they are) but then promptly faded into the background. I’m having to go back and add in more story to make these things seem as pertinent as they are.

On the plus side, this will likely add to my pathetic word count by giving me more directions to spin from. This should teach me to be more organized, but I doubt I’ll learn. I’m just too set in my ways.

This will unfortunately make the writing process take longer, but I hope that it will add depth to my novel.