Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet Volume III is now available for pre-order from the publisher. Like the earlier volumes, this one includes 20 stories by 20 writers set in 20 countries. Molly Fessler’s story takes place in Belize.
Molly Fessler grew up on a llama farm outside Detroit and studied sociology and conflict resolution at Bryn Mawr College. In her non-writing hours, she works in Community Health, moonlighting as a yoga instructor, sociology teacher, and part-time nanny. Her work has been published in Real Simple, NPR.org, and Cicada Magazine, among others. She bakes a fierce carrot cake and believes the best poems are written when stopped at a traffic light.
Comment on “To my Daughter: On this your engagement day”: In Q’eqchi Maya, to say “how are you?” one asks “ma’sa a’chool?” This translates literally to “is your heart content?” This question is one that I ask myself frequently; it is a question at the heart of this piece —can contentment exist within the scope of tradition and expectation? I spent two years living with the indigenous Maya in Belize, where this story is set. This is the story of a process I saw often; the engagement of a young girl to a suitor from another village. I learned about duty in Belize, how to wash clothes at the river, how to make tortillas over the fire without burning my fingertips. I saw gender play out on a small and large scale. This story drives these lessons together.