True Name

“I didn’t realize, Heather,” said Louise, offering a very small sideways hug. “We’re very strong believers in family here.”

Heather shrugged in response; she still hadn’t managed to get comfortable discussing her family situation.

“Of course…” Louise continued. “What’s your mother’s name?”

“Bitch,” Heather retorted with a quick giggle.

“No, really. You know, many cultures believe that to use another’s true name is to have power over her.”

Heather considered this. “But I obviously don’t have power over her,” she decided. “So using her name would disrespect those cultures, wouldn’t it?”

Louise shrugged, detatched and mildly amused by the conversation. “Fair enough, You wanna sneak some bud into her oatmeal, then?” She held out a sandwich bag fat with pot, which Heather accepted with a shrug. She probably wouldn’t do anything with it, preferring to ignore her mother as a tactic over more aggressive action, but it would be comforting to have the option.

*****

A very small piece today. Generally from Clean Hippie Murders, although I don’t know precisely how it fits in.

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