You Don’t Know How This Ends

by Lynette Mejía

Whatever you think you know
about carriages and pumpkins
and rats dressed in fine livery

about shoes made of glass
and the lengths girls are willing
to go, slicing off body parts,

fingers slick with their own blood
to fit inside a high heel
(it gives the leg a nice line)

you are mistaken.

And whatever you think might be the goal—
a handsome prince smiling down
the dance at the end of the evening

the happily ever after, bearing a castle
bursting with little heirs, ready to take
up the old tropes and standards,

you are entirely wrong.

Because stories are like storms
and women left to suffer—
they build up power
and run in unexpected directions.

Sometimes their rage is brief
and then they’re gone
with a soft breath of air, energy
exhaled with an almost grateful sigh,

but sometimes they’re renewed inside
the chaos, and from it spin something
else entirely, so that instead of the end
you have only another beginning.


Lynette Mejía writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror prose and poetry from the middle of a deep, dark forest in the wilds of southern Louisiana. Her work has appeared in Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Eye to the Telescope, Liminality, and many others, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Rhysling Award. An avid gardener, she can often be found talking to trees and conspiring with roses. Find her online at