Five Star Review – Alyssa N. Vaughn

“We need to get serious about losing weight.” my mother says as she tosses the empty pizza boxes next to the recycling bin. “I beg your pardon?” I manage to sputter, following behind her to break the boxes down into smaller pieces that will actually fit inside the bin. My toddler, Johnny, is in bed already, but my mother insists that we have “girl time” at the end of each one of her unannounced visits. …

A question for Alyssa N. Vaughn

Q: Duckbilled platypus – result of divine distraction, or alternate universe crossover?

A: So the platypus belongs to the mammalian subclass Prototheria, which sounds like a kingdom from World of Warcraft and most of the animals that belong to that group are extinct. It’s pretty much the platypus and the echidna, and both of them are weird as crap. Did you know that the echidna doesn’t have nipples? It has milk patches on its skin instead. So does the platypus. And the platypus is one of the only venomous mammals. It only produces its venom during the platypus mating season. What the heck.

Honestly, my favorite thing about the platypus is that it is one of several species that have hypothetically stopped evolving. They said “yup, being a venomous beaver-duck is totally working for me, y’all go on ahead” and that’s how we got platypi. They are nature’s old man, grumbling about these species today, with their placentas and their nipples and their non-beak-faces and their no-venom-producing-claws. The platypus wants you to stop trying to explain Snapchat to it and go outside once in a while, for goodness sake.

I may be a platypus.

I’m really stuck on the subclass though. “Your quest will take you to Prototheria, therein you must seek the strange creature of venomous claw and hideous beak, very nearly the last of its kind…”


Alyssa N. Vaughn’s story “Five Star Review”
in Metaphorosis Friday, 11 January 2019.
Subscribe now for e-mail updates!

About Alyssa N. Vaughn

Alyssa N. Vaughn was born and raised somewhere between Dallas and Fort-Worth, Texas, and she now lives very very near the house where she grew up, with her husband, children, and dogs, only very narrowly missing an “Everybody Loves Raymond” situation. She has been a public radio employee, a software developer, a high school teacher, and an assistant director at a computer camp. She was a writer before, during, after, and about each of these professions.

blog.anvaughn.com, @msalyssaenvy


Alyssa N. Vaughn’s story “Five Star Review”
in Metaphorosis Friday, 11 January 2019.
Subscribe now for e-mail updates!