by Karen Schauber
The year Drag Barbie came out was my best ever. Long leggy hi-octane black-patent thigh-high boots with diamond-studded drill bits for heels, Prussian blue faux-fur shortie jacket, poofy Bichon Frisé hair, black pearl choker and lashes that go on like Whoa, Nellie! She occupied the top drawer of my highboy hidden from prying judgy-eyes, until the dog dragged her under the sofa and chomped her Tickle My France-y mani-pedi to bits. I envied the doll’s lustrous pompadour, my own close-cropped buzz-cut a perennial oppressive albatross; a control mechanism my permanently house-coated mother intended for me to grow old in, straight.
Karen Schauber’s work appears in sixty-five international literary magazines, journals, and anthologies, including Bending Genres, Cabinet of Heed, Cease Cows, Ekphrastic Review, Fiction Southeast, New World Writing, and Spelk; and has been nominated for the Best Microfiction anthology three times. The Group of Seven Reimagined: Contemporary Stories Inspired by Historic Canadian Paintings (Heritage House, 2019), her first editorial/curatorial flash fiction anthology, achieved ‘Silver’ in The Miramichi Reader’s Very Best Book Award for Short Fiction, 2020. Schauber curates Vancouver Flash Fiction, an online resource hub, and Miramichi Flash, a monthly literary column. In her spare time, she is a seasoned family therapist.