Man-Made Monsters by Andrea L. Rogers

March 3, 1856

Raven Hollow, Indian Territory

Dear Georgia,

I am back in Cherokee Nation, near Tahlequah, our capital.

Father continues to spend time in Washington away from my stepmother, Lila and their son, Charles. Father has been working as a delegate for the Cherokee nation and serving as the Assistant Principal Chief. John Ross and my father are meeting with as many Federal government officials and state representatives as they can, trying to get the government to pay what it owes our nation. Still, Lila can’t help but take father’s absence personally.

For many citizens the sporadic payments for the seizure of our lands in the south creates a hardship citizens shouldn’t encumber and can’t afford. Our people are owed money for the soil and homes and livestock left behind, not for the children and elders who died on the tortuous walk to Indian Territory. Father says the Cherokee Female Seminary will not be able to enroll students in the fall, as the nation can’t continue to pay teachers or cover the student’s board. He said there was no point in sending me for only one term and that I am already more than qualified to either teach, marry or work in the office of the Cherokee Advocate when that paper starts publishing again. Money woes caused our newspaper to stop printing two years ago! Can you imagine me as a teacher? I would soon be the mad woman in the attic Currer Bell wrote about in Jane Eyre.

Lila seemed to be under the impression that marrying a man who was a step away from the nation’s chief would be akin to being the wife of a President, or at least a senator, in Washington. The balls, the dinners, teas in fancy drawing rooms. She misses being an heiress in Philadelphia. It was quite the scandal when she followed my father back to Indian Territory five years ago while my sickly mother still lived. Lila has settled in comfortably, though. Without consulting my father, she had a large house built close to my father’s land. They had a bit of a row about it when it was finished and my stepmother insisted they move in as soon as she and my father could reasonably marry after my mother’s death.  I will live there, by God, she said, stomping her well heeled foot until he relented. I can’t be a bit upset about it, though, as within the year Charles was the result of their odd union. My father is less comfortable with the posh life. I think he sees a bit of sin in the lavishness of my stepmother. He is the son of a Cherokee Baptist pastor, after all. However, he has always let his wives run the household while he is busy with politics or preaching. He only insists that everyone attend church each Sunday.

The house is huge, much like the plantation homes my Eastern born stepmother claims to abhor. There are rooms we never go in and yards and yards of velvet. Though she spoke derisively of the institution of slavery while she lived in Philadelphia, once here she had cabins built for the slaves my mother had owned. Before she died, Mama had promised to free Peter, Mary, and Dolly, but failed to do so. Dolly won’t even speak when Lila’s around since Lila threatened to sell her for speaking Cherokee to me. Dolly pretends she doesn’t understand English, forcing Lila to fumble with Cherokee or to call someone else to translate. Mary and Peter are the same age mother would be if she lived, still. Dolly, the cook, is their aunt, I believe. At least they call her Aunt Dolly. Mary accompanies us to church on Sundays, but Dolly sneaks off to work on other farms in order to earn her own money.

Until a few days ago, old Dr. Henry lived in the two-story carriage house. Previously, his main patient was my mother, but father felt his medical knowledge was of value to the area even after her passing. Herr doktor delivered me and many other babies. He was an odd fellow, obsessed with that book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. He claimed it was based on a true story about a German alchemist named Johann Konrad Dippel. One could not speak with him regarding literature for more than a few minutes before he would turn the conversation to the Modern Prometheus and raising the dead through medical means. It quite disturbed father. Were it not for Dr. Henry tutoring Charles and me in German for a few months, father might have found another medical man to install in Raven Hollow. In truth, I found his ideas fascinating. He would talk of science and medical experiments and get a glazed, nearly rabid look in his eyes. Alas, he is retiring from medicine and going to the German Colony in Bastrop, Texas to help manage the family brewery. Before he left, he gifted Charles and me with an albino rabbit, a huge white bunny with red eyes (and a litter she would soon deliver). Rabbits are generally food in these parts, not pets. Lila suggested I move into the upper rooms of the carriage house to care for it moments after Dr. Henry vacated.  

As for me and little brother, Charles, all is well. My stepmother ignores us most of the day, as she sleeps late when father is gone. By the time she gets up we’ve had breakfast, and packed a picnic lunch to go exploring. The redbuds are blossoming, their fuschia buds brightening the otherwise bare limbs of the trees. Charles is so good about amusing himself while I lay in the sunshine and read Ellis Bell’s Wuthering Heights. How I love his novel. I have fond memories of the summer vacation with your family in Atlantic City. Raven Hollow is nothing like Atlantic City, but it is our home.

I am grateful I was able to meet you at Mount Holyoke before father asked me to return to the nation to help with Charles. How I miss having you for a roommate. 

I am enclosing a drawing Charles has done of me. Doesn’t he have a skill beyond any four year old you know?

Until another day, ginali,


March 17, 1856

Raven Hollow, I.T.

Dear Georgia,

I have moved into the carriage house. The spring brought with it misery and I have spent a good deal of time inside these last few days. My nose runs and my eyes water. I’m miserable outside and in, but have no fever. You have never seen a boy as kind as Charles. He attends to me daily until his mother notices his absence. I try to send him away after he follows Mary when she brings me hot tea and toast with butter and honey. He curls up next to me as I drowse. I awake to find him brushing back my hair, or kissing my cheek with his long eyelashes. This morning his mother swooped in and ordered him to stay away from me on threat of a beating. Mary told me Lila doses him with small drops of laudanum when his energy gets to be too much for her or when she has one of her headaches. 

Fortunately, my father sent word he would be coming back early and she forgot about Charles and he was back to comfort me. He pretends to read me some of the books that Dr. Henry left. There are old German ghost stories among his many titles. If Charles could really read them, he might never sleep again. There is quite a treasure trove of scientific papers and books and unguents and equipment tucked away in a large wooden crate. Dr. Henry told me I could do as I wished with the boxes and crates. I hope to further my own studies in medicine. As you know, I am ever interested in science, though father encourages me to write for a newspaper or teach. Cherokees do not, generally, have the low opinion of women’s intellect I see so prevalent in American society. It is only that nation building is so important. And words build nations.



March 20, 1856

Lovely, Georgia,

I was well within a few days of my last letter. It was a good thing, too, because the rabbit delivered her kits! There were four in all, but one died and I had to hide it before Charley saw it. The mother had kicked it away. I was glad she hadn’t started consuming it! It is a lot of work keeping Charley from pestering the mother bun.

While Charley naps, I sneak in and sort through Dr. Henry’s boxes. There are some interesting scientific papers from the Royal College of Surgeons in London. There is a paper on “Observations on Apparent Death from Drowning, Hanging, Suffocation by Noxious Vapours, Fainting-Fits, Intoxication, Lightning, Exposure to Cold, etc, and an account of the Proper means to be employed for recovery” published in 1815 by James Curry. Dr. Henry filled several of the articles with notes and drawings. There are also jars of strange liquid and a giant, well-preserved toad! It floats, a warted creature of green and silver. The outside of the jar is marked with the number 13 and other notes I cannot read in the lamplight. I placed the jar in the window of my room that faces the sunset. The other strange unguents I set next to the large iron tub in the room downstairs. In there is a small stove. It takes many trips to the well for Peter to fill the bath basin.

After what I have read about women having to undergo the knife in order to give birth, I believe Charley will be as close as I come to being a mother. The horrors that women go through only to give their husbands an heir! The pain and sadness that comes with bringing forth the generations. You would have wept to have seen my poor mother when she ailed after losing yet another baby boy in the year before she died. Her guilt over the deaths of my many siblings. She was but seventeen, only a few months older than me, when she lost her first child, a daughter, in the year after they came from Georgia. Mary helped Dr. Henry deliver the baby, then after mama sat with the body a week, that baby was the first Wilson to go into the cemetery on my mother’s family’s land across the road. Mary says mother was never well after they left Georgia. How cruel to give life to a fragile child. How I used to worry over Charles when he was a baby, his thin thread of breath, his tiny beating heart. To have a child is to become twice as vulnerable to the world’s vagaries. To relive the death of the beloved over and over…at times before they even pass.

Please take care, my beloved, friend,

I’ve no one to share my worry, but you.


March 25, 1856

Raven Hill, I.T.

Dear Georgia, 

I hardly know how to explain what I have seen. Yesterday, I surprised Charles with the preserved toad and then we put it back in the large windowsill facing the west. In the afternoon, he and I took a long walk to Spavinaw Creek. The chilly air was exhilarating. Towards suppertime it looked as if a storm was rolling in over the hills, so we hastened home. I had asked Mary to build a fire in my room when we departed and my room was very warm. The sun was on its descent and light streamed through the toad’s jar. Streaks of sunlight shot through the golden liquid.

As I reached for the jar, I could have sworn that the creature was turning slowly. I assumed it was caused by the jar’s warming liquid and qualities of pressure, the property of which I know not, but as I held it out for Charles to observe the toad’s eyes blinked in tandem. Open, then closed, then open once more, wide and rolling. The creature stared into my eyes and then kicked as if to swim away. 

I dropped the jar and it smashed onto the floor. The toad was not paralyzed for an instant, though I cannot say the same for Charley and me. On slimy green silver legs he hopped with abnormal speed towards Charley. Charley stood gaping, but unmoving and upon reaching him the toad reversed direction, giving me enough time to yank off my wrap and toss it atop the bolting amphibian.

Charley recovered and laughed, running to scoop up the shawl with the toad beneath it. I told him no. I am rarely sharp with him, but I was terrified for him to touch it, I know not why. When he asked me to explain, I lied and shared a fear of warts.

I grabbed the shawl and ran to get an empty jar from Dr. Henry’s crates. I reached in blindly for something to cover it, wrestling out a thin leather bound book by the German alchemist Johann Conrad Dippel. I dropped the toad into the jar and topped it with the tattered journal. In hindsight, I realize how foolish and illogical it was to want the toad out of the house, out of the yard, far from Charley and me.

Charley followed me as I carried it down the stairs. The toad settled down and looked around. I tried to explain his existence to myself. If this was a trick by Dr. Henry it was terribly cruel. How could he know I would find the toad while it lived? And how had it lived nearly two weeks in the strange fluid, within a seemingly airless jar? I am no expert on amphibians, but it seemed unnatural. And yet, here he stared at me, his color poor, his eyes looking as if a veil of gauze covered them. Then the toad jumped, hitting the book covering the jar, causing it to tilt precariously off the jar’s top. I spread my fingers around the top of the jar, straining to hold the book down and support the edge of the jar as I carried it to the creek. The toad kept hitting the top of the jar. My heartbeat quickened, filling my ears with a sound like crashing waves.

We both heard the glass crack. The toad leapt clear of the glass and disappeared into the grass in one long leap. It crashed through the brush. We stared after it until we heard it no longer. I knelt to pick up the glass and Charley picked up the book and began to flip through it.  

Poor Charley, he didn’t recognize the lovely script was German. I told him who the journal had belonged to and made a poor attempt to explain alchemy. I think I told him alchemy aimed to perfect the imperfect. Perhaps I really am not called to be a teacher.

I flipped through the journal. A lovely, familiar hand and complicated equations filled the first third of the book. Progressively, the writing became nearly indecipherable, blurred in places, and scratched and inked out. I found the last page in a distinctly different hand. Written in much neater script and English, the journal’s final words read: “Johann Conrad Dippel passed from this world while aboard my ship on April 25, 1734. Captain Robert Walton.”

At the time I froze, processing this information slowly. As I write you, I understand my terror at the evidence. Seemingly, the writing on the toad’s original label and the diary were the work of one man. Was it possible that the supernatural toad had been captured more than a hundred and twenty years earlier?

We hastened back to the house and I carefully gathered up the glass still covered in the oil. Using a piece of vellum, I scooped up all I could and found some crockery to hold the oil I had salvaged and the bits of glass. The toad’s label, indeed, was in Dippel’s own hand and the date confirmed my fears. The year of collection was listed as 1732. Georgia, I will write more when my thoughts have calmed. Please, speak of this to no one or they shall think me mad.

Yours, ever,


March 28, 1856

Raven Hill

Dear Georgia,

If only you were here to comb through these notes and reports and books with me. There is so much here. All of Dippels’s notes he made in self-study and later at the University of Giessen. Dr. Henry’s later copies of the Royal Society reports, especially articles on the resuscitation of the drowned. Lists of minerals and herbs. Jars of decayed plant matter and mineral samples. My own learning is a mere by-product of my father’s benign neglect. I have gone without the benefit of true tutoring for the last several months and now I feel its lack greatly. I am stumbling blindly, reading everything, without knowing if it is at all worthwhile.

I find myself becoming annoyed with Charley as he wants me to play, while I hunger for an end to my ignorance. Finally, I gather several papers and we go out to explore the streams that lead to the lake. I bribe him to search for crawdads and the strange toad, regretting its release. But it is difficult to read deeply and keep a watchful eye on Charley. 

Today, I feigned a headache so we might return home. Charley tried to comfort me, taking my basket so that I might not have to carry it while in pain. It was much too big for him, but he could not be dissuaded, the sweet little gentle man. I felt terribly guilty.

We found the house in a flurry of activity. Word came that my father had broken an ankle in a fall. Lila is preparing to make the long trip to be at his side. She bribed Charley into her lap and talked to him about how much his father loved him. She asked if he wanted to go with her, but he shook his head, looking at me. When she thought I wasn’t looking she slipped him candies from her pocket as if it was a secret, but Charley offered me one anyway. 

It occurred to me that I would have opportunity for quiet study time now that Charley’s mother desired his companionship and I, politely, refused the candy and slipped away. I shall miss Charley, and I hope my father is well soon, but I look forward to a little bit of solitude.

I hastened to my room. Georgia, Dippel sought an end to death! What a benefit to mankind he might have been. According to his notes, some of the golden oil is the very oil of the wise men; myrrh. He wrote of drowning the toad in a bath of salt and blood and ground bone. The liquid would allow the toad to rest in a state of suspended animation, he claimed. Once warmed to body temperature the amphibian awoke from a very long sleep. No older or worse for wear, if Dippel’s postulations are correct.

He wrote, “I gave the frog enough Laudanum to cause death. But, before it breathed its last breath, I held it down in the liquid in the jar. How horrible to feel it writhe in agony, as all creatures fear death, even in its sedated state. Finally, I simply placed the stopper in the jar and put it in the cool saline bath in the dark, I could no longer stand to watch it die. An hour later I checked on it and it was cool and still, writhing no more. I waited a week to be sure and then brought it slowly to room temperature. I had to be careful not to boil the poor creature. Eventually, I placed the jar in the window as the sun rose. It seemed the toad began to move about languidly. I took the poor creature out and warmed it more aggressively, wrapping it in warm cloths before the fire. Within the hour, it began to hop about and seemed well recovered from its week of death.”

Georgia, can you imagine? It is not as if resurrection is without precedent. Why would he write such a thing if it were not true? Think him mad? I would, had I not seen the toad leap away myself.

I close here Georgia.

I have much to learn and think about.



May 1856

Raven Hill, I.T.

Dear Georgia,

My letter and your package seemed to have passed each other in the post. First, I must thank you for the Hawthorne book. Lila’s home does not quite have Seven Gables, but I’m enjoying the read when I steal a few moments for leisure reading. 

In the month and half since I last wrote, I am closer to understanding the experiments of Dippel. I have mapped out their patterns and successes and failures. He did a terrible thing following the incident with the toad. He began to make a man from parts of other men. How envious is man of woman’s ability to create life! His energies could have been focused in the medical field, in preserving the lives of those unfortunates who meet with accident or illness. I have attempted to create more of the oil by separating out the solution I salvaged from the toad’s jar. It is a difficult recipe. I have several jars of possible solutions and no way to test them. I’ve used so much salt from the storehouse, I fear the cook has noticed. 

Lila and Charley have returned. Charley was thrilled with the tiny rabbits which are almost ready to be weaned. Lila pays attention to Charley one day, treating him with presents. The next day she comes to the carriage house with lunch, and quickly leaves him behind, so that she might enjoy her supper alone.  While they were away she bought him a little pedigreed dog to play with and I hate the beast. It charges at the chickens in the yard and bites at Peter and Mary. It steers clear of Dolly, though. I wish I knew her secret. I must keep the door latched when I leave or I find the dog wreaking havoc in the carriage house upon my return. Charley has no control over the creature and can merely chase it and shriek. However, Charley loves the terrible thing.

Father is well and has decided he wants us all to go with him next school year. I will get to rejoin you in Massachusetts. I hope that I am not too far behind. Please advise me and continue sending me books to read, ginali. I’m making a special trip to town to mail this to you, meine freundin,


June 1856



I doubt that I shall ever see you again. It is possible this is my last letter to you and I hardly know if I am brave or mad enough to send it. My hand shakes to confide in you, even, weeks after the events have passed.  

I returned to my room one morning to find Charley sprawled out on my bed, drawing over Dippel’s’s journal. His little beast was nowhere to be found, but I heard a screaming and snarling in the stairwell. There I found him shaking the last baby bunny dead. I kicked him across the room and he struck the wall with a yelp. Charley came running in and grabbed his pup yelling at me not to hurt his dog. I had picked up all the dead rabbits by then, warm and not so bloody, but quite dead. I scolded Charley. He ran out of the room and down the stairs and, the beast that I am, I let him go. I cried over the bodies of the rabbits for several minutes. But then, God forgive me, I thought of the experiment.

I took the kits to the room with the bath and I began to heat up the water. I placed each cylinder into the bath so that they would all warm up slowly. I rubbed some of the oil into the rabbit’s mouths. There were three bunnies, so I was able to test the three most likely solutions. I placed each rabbit upside down into the separate cylinders. I was very careful not to lose track of which solution was which. Within the hour, one rabbit’s eyes seemed to twitch. I focused all my energy on this rabbit. I placed my hands into the cylinder and rubbed the ointment and heat into its head and ears and belly. In my vigor I splashed it into my eyes. I squinted as they burned. Salted tears touched my lips and I tasted the ocean.

Finally, I removed the rabbit from the jar and placed it on a quilt over the iron wood stove, warming it more quickly. It opened its eyes. Soon, Mama rabbit was nursing the formerly dead rabbit and cleaning it furiously. My joy did not remain such, for long. The poor rabbit’s broken neck remained so and I am no surgeon. Repairing an injury such as that is beyond my ken. Yet, the poor kit lives. She lives still, for in the month since this happened I haven’t had the heart to dispatch her. Mama rabbit abandoned her shortly after that night. I keep them separate in fear the mother will eat the small helpless creature. I feed her milk by hand and hope that her bones will repair themselves. 

I am sure my behavior shocks you. 

I wish this were the worst I had to tell you.

I went into the kitchen in the house later that night to eat. It was actually almost morning, and Dolly was busying about starting the fire and breakfast. She frowned to see me. I asked her where Charley was sleeping and Dolly said he was alone in his room. This surprised me for we have spoiled him so, and he always sleeps with either me or his mother. She then told me the day before he had come back into the house crying and was inconsolable, so his mother gave him a big dose of medicine and sent him to bed. 

Angrily, I dashed upstairs to get him. He was snoring heavily. I tried to wake him, but he would not wake. I shook him repeatedly and the snoring stopped. I carried him downstairs and called for Mary and his mother. His mother would not come down until she was dressed. She told Mary I was being hysterical. We laid Charley on a blanket in front of the fireplace and his breathing was slow. His heart seemed to not be beating as quickly as it should have been, either. Peter was sent to fetch the nearest physician. Mary began to search the house for ammonia or smelling salts. I was sure there was ammonia in the bath of the carriage house, but I ran to get it myself, as the experiment had yet to be cleaned up. 

As I passed the small broken bunny, wrapped alone in its blankets, I thought I heard it cry piteously and that cry filled me with terror. When I got back in the house, I found my stepmother weeping over Charley. 

I hissed at her and made a comment about her selfishness. I handed her the ammonia and told her to remove his shirt and rub some on his chest. I held a cloth with it under his nose, but he did not respond. Mary stoked the fire and we wrapped him in warm blankets, talking to him constantly. At length, the physician arrived. I retreated to my room to clean up the failed bits of the experiment. I had one good cask of oil and a barrel of salt and Charley was small. I didn’t yet know what I might do.

When I entered the kitchen, I saw the look on the doctor’s face. He told us that if Charley makes it through the night, there might be hope. His face seemed doubtful. We took turns sitting with him through the day. I was loathe to leave him with his own mother. Still, I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed should the worst happen. I set the cask of the successful solution on my wood stove to warm. It would be enough to fill the bottom of the bathtub. 

I returned to the kitchen and found my stepmother sleeping. Charley was no longer breathing. His eyes had flicked open and he stared with terror at the ceiling. I grabbed Charley’s tiny body and wept silently. I would save my brother. I would not let this innocent child die, if I could help it.  I carried him to my little house, undressed him, and then wrapped him in wool blankets. I had to move Dippel’s journal and I saw that Charley had written on a blank page in the back, “Isadora = love.” My tears came loudly then. My heart hurt and I wept and prayed for God to let Charley live. I was willing to trade my life for his. How would I live if the last thing I said to him was in a rare moment of anger?

I returned to the tub and filled it with water and salt. I stirred in the heated oil. I carried Charley in, unwrapped him and placed the blankets next to the stove. I placed Charley face down in the tub and began to rub the warm oil onto his body. I pressed on his back, causing his lungs to empty and inhale. I flipped him over and continued to rub the oil onto him, trying to warm him, forcing some oil into his mouth and nose, letting it run into his eyes. I saw a movement behind his eyelids first, then heard a choking sound. I yanked him from the tub and took him to the fire where I wrapped him in a buffalo robe and blankets. I sat with him in my lap, rubbing him and talking to him, until he seemed to stir. Alas, his look was one of confusion and madness. I spoke to him, but he said nothing back to me. Tears ran down his cheeks, and he shrank from my touch. I dressed him and told myself this was temporary. That he had suffered death and that he was bound to eventually recover. He was languid, his eyes tracking poorly. I told him how much I loved him and how glad I was that he lived. 

I picked him up and he was unresisting. I carried him back to the kitchen. I laid him down on the blanket and kissed him. The doctor came back the next morning and looked him over. He congratulated us on our care of Charley. He came back every day for a month. Charley seemed to grow stronger, but he didn’t speak. I tried reteaching him the alphabet. However, when he became upset, he only wailed. It could be as simple as not getting a sweet, or getting a bite from his dog. Either way, his response was loud and increasingly violent. At the end of the month, the doctor pulled my stepmother aside and suggested Charley’s fit had damaged his brain. He suggested a nurse or an asylum might eventually be needed if Charley didn’t show improvement soon. I had watched Charley’s mother grow increasingly irritated with Charles. After the doctor left I cornered her alone in her room and told her that this was her fault and that she would be a mother to him or I would tell everyone what she’d done. My stepmother’s face grew red and she ordered me out. 

I found Charley downstairs staring into the fire. I patted his head and he looked up at me.  Charley and I went to the kitchen and I proceeded to make an apple pie and a great mess to entertain him. I poured flour on the table and showed him how to write his name, but he just made crazed marks and pounded on the table making clouds of flour. He had grown stronger, physically, stronger than any five-year-old should be and I had to distract him with spoons of sugar to get him to stop banging on the table. I put an apple pie into the oven. I let him play with the extra dough, showing him how to make little creatures. Finally, I left the room for a moment to retrieve a broom to start to clean up our mess. While I was gone, Charley ran over to the oven to pull the pie out with his bare hands. From the hallway I heard his shriek of pain, but his mother reached the kitchen before me. Charles ran to her, wailing, salty tears streamed down his wan cheeks, his hands reaching for her covered in dough and flour. 

She slapped him. Charles shoved her impossibly hard and she fell back on the stone floor, her head hitting with such force that it made the most awful sound and then bounced again with a sickening wet finality. Charles immediately ran out of the room as Dolly and Mary ran in. I lied and told them that Lila slipped. I leaned over her and held her eyelids open, looking for movement. I felt blood oozing between my fingers as I cradled her broken head. My explanation was simple. Charley ran to hug her and she slipped in the flour and hit her head. By then Peter had come into the house and I asked him to summon the doctor. I did not go find Charley until after the doctor arrived and declared her dead. He was hiding in the bath in the carriage house. He was holding the still living broken rabbit. I do not think either of them will get any better. 

At a loss,


July 1856, Indian Territory


August 1856

September 1856

October 1856

Raven Hill, I.T.

Dear Georgia,

Finally, there is some good news. The bunny’s tail twitched in response to being petted the other day. I watched to see if it was a mere reflex, and if it was, she does it when she is pleased, as a fresh strawberry elicited the same reaction. Progress for the kit and Charley may ever be slow. All I can offer my brother is my love and protection. 

My father came home in June to fetch Lila’s body to take her back to be buried with her people in the East. He has not returned since then. We rarely write each other for there is little happy news. Occasionally, I send him messages from Peter about the farm. None of us go to church on Sundays. There is no question of us going to be with father at this time. I do not know if Charley will ever be older than he was when I put him in the bath. In the months since then, he is nearly unchanged, as far as I can tell.

Every day I instruct him in our syllabary and try to teach him the names of things around him. I am never far from him, as I can’t trust him to not lose his temper. Also, I fear for how he will be treated by others. I have moved into the house and we sleep in a large bed, with the moon lighting our room. A few minutes ago, I awoke and heard his first words. He was whispering in the dark to the tiny rabbit, Love. Isadora. Love. Isadora. Love. Isadora. Love….



Contributor Notes

Andrea L. Rogers is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and a graduate of the Low Rez program at the Institute for American Indian Arts. She grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas, where she is a teacher at an all girls public school and the mom of three daughters. At IAIA, she was mentored by several strong Indigenous writers and teachers. While there, she completed her short story collection Man Made Monsters; a meditation on love, loneliness, family and the monsters in society that walk with us. Native people are centered in this collection, along with a cast of vampires, werewolves, zombies, aliens, ghosts, two handsome Princes, and a Goatboy. Her short story, "Me & My Monster" was published in Transmotion, Vol 4, Number 1 (2018). Her short story "Manifesting Joy" will be coming out in the Santa Fe Literary Review in Summer/Fall 2019. An essay titled "My Oklahoma History" is included in an Anthology by Inkyard Press called YOU TOO, edited by Janet Gurtler and set for publication in 2020.