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Saturday, February 27, 2010

How Jennifer Got Her Talisman by Steven Philip Jones

There was a girl

who did not like her name.

“It is too long,” she pleaded to her father.

“And it is dull.”

She wanted a new name,

something short and beautiful.

Her father told her,

“Your name is just right for you.”

He thought her name was just fine.

Perfectly fine.

This girl and her father

lived in a cottage.

Hills and plains surrounded the cottage.

It was a lonely place,

But the girl and her father liked it.

It made them happy.

One day a tall man rode over the east hills.

“I am trying to find a house,”

he told the father.

“Requin’s house.”

The father said,

“No one lives in Requin’s house.”

But the tall man pleaded,

“Somebody is waiting for me there.

A fine lady

with the name White.”

The father nodded.

“My daughter can show you the way.”

So the girl led the tall man

over the west hills.

The two traveled together

for a long time.

They waded across an angry river.

They crept through scowling woods.

They climbed a stern mountain.

At the top the girl said, “There is Requin’s house.”

The old house was big.

It had many rooms and looked empty.

Only the wind seemed to live there.

But, suddenly, a lady stepped out!

The lady was all white

except her eyes, both grass green.

The lady asked for the tall man’s name.

He said, “I am only a guide.”

The lady asked for the girl’s name.

She said, “It is just Jennifer.”

The lady smiled. “It is beautiful.”

The girl said, “It is long and dull.”

The lady shook her head. She asked,

“Do you know your name means `White’?”

The lady started to shine.

First like a ghost,

then like a star.

Jennifer was amazed and afraid.

Then the glow faded. She was alone.

But Jennifer turned and saw a staff

stuck in the ground.

She grabbed it and smiled.

The tall man’s face was carved on its grip.

Jennifer brought the staff home.

Her father asked, “Where did you find that?”

Jennifer told him.

She told him everything.

Then, “Did you know my name means `White’?”

Her father nodded.

“Just like I know a name does not matter,

only the person.”

Jennifer nodded. And smiled.

Bio: Steven Philip Jones has been writing professionally since 1987. His novel credits include Talismen: The Knightmare Knife, King of Harlem, Bushwhackers and Wizard Academies: The House With the Witch’s Hat. Steven also has over 60 comic book and graphic novel credits including adaptations of Dracula, several H.P. Lovecraft stories and the 1953 film Invaders From Mars, as well as the original series Nightlinger, Tatters and Wolverstone and Davis (formerly Street Heroes 2005). Steven was also the editor for Malibu Graphic's anthology of H.P. Lovecraft's Herbert West—Reanimator serial. He is also the author of several nonfiction articles and an original Sherlock Holmes radio drama, “The Case of the Petty Curses,” which was syndicated nationally by Imagination Theater. Steven’s Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Religion from the University of Iowa prompts many people to ask him why he majored in two such dissimilar subjects. (He won't say). Steven was also accepted into Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop M.F.A. program in 1990. He makes his home in eastern Iowa with his daughter.

Visit his website at

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