The cold weather made my so sleepy today, my body feeling sluggish as I seriously contemplated eating a bunch of fats to put on some winter weight and settle in for hibernation. After all, that has been my routine for probably the last twenty years. Winter months’ complacency, as the coziness of blankies and slippers and all-weekend pajamas lulled me into a false sense of comfort that was more than likely trying to kill me. As I remembered that this morning after work, and started thinking about how I could put off exercise until so much later in the day I could convince myself all the errands I had to run surely counted as exercise, I decided there would be no messing around today. I scrolled through my podcast fiction, picked my stories, suited up, and headed into exercise fantasy land.
The stories I chose today came from two different magazine podcasts, but in retrospect they had a similar theme: the surviving children of deceased parents. “A Mother’s Love Never Ends” by Halli Villegas was featured in Issue #73 of Nightmare Magazine, and explored a daughter’s frazzled state-of-mind while transporting her mother’s ashes on a bus trip. “Ancestor Night” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman, was featured in Issue #260 of Beneath Ceaseless Skies and followed the journey of the surviving children of a village’s weavers to the place their parents had been frozen after death. During the necessary honor they must pay to their parents, a secret is discovered that makes the narrator question the depths of their own forgiveness.
Two more than worthy stories to carry me through my routine, which, thanks to the entertainment, saw me add an additional 5 minutes to my workout. Thanks, writers of the world, for making exercise possible through the distraction of daydreams.