Sleeping Beauty

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After 551 years she woke to the earthy pungence. She shook her long, dark hair, stretched her limbs and tried to walk, following the scent. Her embroidered gown and simple headdress stood out, and the tall buildings and paved roads showed her how much had changed.

Her sister flew, her brother fought. She could sleep—through wars and pogroms—and keep her lineage strong.

At the café, as like the last time, she promised those who held her dear: “If I can accept this world I have woken to, I will drink this cup, if not, I shall rest our bones.”

Heather Bourbeau’s fiction and poetry have been published in 100 Word Story, Alaska Quarterly Review, Cleaver, Eleven Eleven, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, The Cardiff Review, and The Stockholm Review of Literature. She is the Chapman University Flash Fiction winner and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work has been featured in several anthologies, including America, We Call Your Name: Poems of Resistance and Resilience (Sixteen Rivers Press), and Respect: Poems About Detroit Music (Michigan State University Press). She has worked with various UN agencies, including the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia and UNICEF Somalia.

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