Cora was a few weeks old when her father battered her, causing her to bleed into her brain. I knew her for a month when she was in the hospital. She could still breathe and eat, but she did not respond to sounds or sights. Most of her brain was gone. They had put a shunt in to keep the fluid from building up and destroying what little remained of her brain.
At the time, her prognosis was grim, which raised the question---code or no code? One doctor told a story about a woman in England who seemed completely normal. They did a CT scan of her head as part of a study--and discovered that she had only a thin rim of cortex--everything else had been destroyed at some time in her life, and no one knew it. Now, the chances of little Cora overcoming what was done to her and growing up to be "normal" were slim. However, I started wondering. What if the areas of our brain which we do not understand are not there to help us interact with our world? What if they are there to keep us from being aware of the true nature of space time, so that we can focus on here and now? What if little Cora was seeing and experiencing things that we would never know?
I wrote "Cora Dreams of Me" about a decade later. It is the first short story I ever published. Over the next fifteen years, I kept going back to the notion that there is more to this world than we are allowed to see. I also began to suspect that what we call "weakness"--being a victim, being a young girl--can also be a kind of strength, or, at least, the source of strength.
I decided to put together a collection of what I refer to as as "magical girl" stories. It is free this week at Kindle. The stories are also available online at Aphelion where I originally published them, however I revised them a bit when getting them ready for this collection. If you don't have a Kindle and you would prefer to read the grammar/spell checked version that I put together, drop me an email and I can send you the file to read on your computer, no charge.
Cora lived for almost two decades. I just found this out recently. I hope they were good decades. Cora, honey, this one is for you.