Mythical Bad Girls: The Corpse, the Crone, and the Snake

  • Rebecca Copeland


“Faster,” the woman thought to herself as she raced up the mountain path. The lights of the village winked in the distance. She could hear the temple bell tolling as night enveloped the valley. “Faster.” The mountain path was steep. Here and there massive roots leapt out of the darkness. She had to be careful not to trip. Branches tore at her arms and legs and tangled her hair. “Faster.” Her breath came out in short gasps, disappearing into a white mist behind her. Her heart pounded, her temples throbbed. One step more, two steps, and then it happened. Beneath her feet the roots began to undulate in gentle submission, carrying her upward. The branches brushing softly against her skin, buoyed her forward. The ache in her arms and legs melted into the night air; the tangle of hair cascaded down her back in a stream of silken threads. And then she felt it. First it rumbled in her stomach like thunder and as it made its way up through her chest and inside her throat, her body grew warm. She threw her head back, squeezed her eyes shut, and opened her mouth to let it out. A long exhilarating laugh. Running wildly through the mountains, arms outstretched, mouth pulled wide in laughter, she was ecstatic. As she slipped through the trees into a clearing on the ridge, she met the moon head on. Someone was watching. Call it a sixth sense, call it an acute sense of smell, but she knew there was a man on the other ridge. She could smell his fear as he crouched behind a rock watching. Call it a sixth sense, call it an acute sense of hearing, but she could hear what he thought. What an evil woman, running alone in the mountains.


Toll Dispatch Lost Serpentine Metaphor 


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© Laura Miller and Jan Bardsley 2005

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  • Rebecca Copeland

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