The Toad Witch
by Jessica Amanda Salmonson
I began life in 1950. Until then, everything was darkness. Afterward was suffering and beauty. How could 1 not become a masochist? By the age of four I had learned to mistrust everyone, a good philosophy. If one expects something terrible to develop out of even pleasant events, one may also expect consolations at moments of travail; and even I must delude myself from time to time, succumbing to the disease of sentiment.
People who are essentially cheerful annoy me. When they are finally bent and deaf, they are suddenly surprised. They find out their lives were pointless falsehoods; that it’s all nearly over, and for what? When in the end they are completely disillusioned they seek forgiveness from everyone, for they had always been oblivious to the obvious things, to the suffering around them. They are sorry for having insisted nothing was ever all that bad. Destined as they are to so much disappointment, they merit our sadness more than our disdain.
As for those of us daily anguished, we need not be pitied. The world constantly reinforces our perspective. We may nod our heads like true sages. We are impervious to disillusion, knowing as we do that worse is yet to come.
About the Author
Jessica Amanda Salmonson is a recipient of the World Fantasy Award, ReaderCon Certificate, and Lambda Award, author of THE DISFAVORED HERO and other novels, THE DEATH SONNETS and other poetry collections, and THE DEEP MUSEUM and other short story collections. Forthcoming – a giant omnibus of her works will appear from the extravagantly cool Centipede Press consisting of her Dell Books novel ANTHONY SHRIEK, a number of poems, and her Ace Books collection A SILVER THREAD OF MADNESS plus enough new and uncollected material to equal a third book in one huge volume. Her next poetry collection PETS GIVEN IN EVIDENCE OF OLD ENGLISH WITCHCRAFT AND OTHER BEWITCHED BEINGS will be issued this coming year by The Sidecar Preservation Society to coincide with Diversicon where she will be Guest of Honor. She’s presently working on a small collection THE BLIND AVIATRIX: Dream Life and Real Life, too odd for commercial publishers but she can’t help it she has to write it.
About the Narrator
Sandra Espinoza is a New York born and raised voice actress with a background in English literature and writing. After a childhood where video games were banned from the house, she one-eighty’d so hard she’s finally in them and never leaving. Voice over training in between jobs, fan projects she created for her favorite games soon gained recognition and lead to her first paid role with Wadjet Eye Games.
Some games Sandra’s voiced for include the Primordia, Apotheon, Heroes of Newerth, Marvel’s Avengers Academy, and most recently Brawl Stars by Clash of Clans developer Supercell. She also provides voice over and editing services for countless lifestyle and education podcasts. When she’s not voice acting you can catch her on Twitter or Facebook under the handle “DustyOldRoses,” obsessing over good food, good games and the color pink.