Think of yourself light-as-air, not weighed down with dread and foreboding. Calm your stilted heartbeat, stifle your frantic thoughts of running away. There is nowhere to run. There is forest all around. Wolves. Bear. His hunting dogs and prancing horses. Think of what this means for your family. Think of yourself as a vessel for other people’s breath, do not think of your own suffocation. Keep your eyes lowered, demure and watchful, a sticky-sweet meringue smile plump on your lips to keep you from screaming. Your craft will keep you alive. It must. Loop your arm through your traitorous father’s as he drags you down the aisle, your steps wooden and resolute. You know the rumors, you’ve heard of his appetites. Your husband awaits, teeth sharp as pins.
Orlando native Kaylan Stedman is an illustrator out of Torrance, California. With a Master’s in TESOL, she teaches English by day and pursues her passion for art and illustration at all other waking moments. For more art, peruse past Ghost Parachute issues, follow her Instagram, @naryakal (K. S. Illustrations), or support her on Etsy at www.etsy.com/shop/ksillustrationsstore.