Contents - This Great Society - Issue 5, Mythology - December 2009/January 2010
Creative Writing
Illustration by Caroline Weaver
Battleaxe Sweetheart - By Caleb Zimmerman
Illustration by Caroline Weaver

Rain’s mother was not the type to name her daughter Rain, nor Gemini, nor Kira, nor even Summer. Rain’s mother wrote in all capitals. She wiped the dust off other people’s television screens. As a consultant for the interior decorating of finance offices, she ensured that all images on display were either of money or people on vacation. Every morning before work, she listened to Celtic War Drums for the Soul while putting on her makeup.

Rain was glad that the grooming shop closed at noon on Fridays. She rode the bus to the supermarket. According to her birthday tradition, she bought all the ingredients for banana muffins. When Rain was a kid, her mother would make banana muffins once a year on Rain’s birthday. Rain never got to eat any of them. They were for all the neighbours.
             Rain’s mother chose Rain’s birthday as the muffin day so that it would be easy to remember to make muffins for the neighbours. “Giving them muffins once a year saves me from having to be a good neighbour for the 364 other days,” her mother had said. “All those things that people claim separate us from the animals are mostly a waste of time, so I’m glad if I can reduce them to banana muffins.”
             While walking the three blocks between Superstore and her basement suite, Rain thought about what separated her from the animals. Basically, she had a battleaxe and they didn’t. Also, she could instantly reorder the letters of any word alphabetically.

Rain often thought about her battleaxe at work while cutting dog toenails. The curves of the axe were perfect. The hard coldness of the metal hadn’t changed since she first touched it on her seventh birthday. Several years after moving out of her mother’s house, she had found the certificate of authenticity in the now dilapidated box the axe had come in, and discovered that it was a Halbarren Double-bladed Dragon-mage Axe, limited edition. The certificate also included a short explanation of the name: Halbarren killed the Blood Troll King at the heart of the world’s most treacherous labyrinth. He escaped the labyrinth by running his hand along the left wall and turning left at every intersection until he found the exit.
             The photo on the certificate was the same as the one in the catalogue. It had made Rain remember the first time she saw the battleaxe:
             “Sweetheart, you can have anything out of the catalogue, anything you choose,” her grandfather had told her.
             Rain’s grade two spelling book was too easy. Frog: f-g-o-r. Bicycle: b-c-c-e-i-l-y. Boring: b-g-i-n-o-r. She slid the textbook under the sofa and leaned over the Myth and Magic Collectables section of her grandfather’s Rod and Gun catalogue.
             She pointed to one of the catalogue’s photos. “I decided, Grandpa.”
             “Good choice,” said Rain’s grandfather.
             "Battleaxe," said Rain. "a-a-b-e-e-l-t-t-x."
             The battleaxe arrived by mail just in time for Rain's birthday. She could barely lift it. It slipped out of her tiny hands and crushed her Princess Pony beyond recognition.
             "Judgement," said Rain. "d-e-e-g-j-m-n-t-u."


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