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Rootless, Fancy Free by Corey A. Edwards

Margie had always dreamed of finding her roots one day and kept a large, burlap sack around just in case this happened.

The questions haunted her: Was she related to anyone famous? Had any of her ancestors come over on the Mayflower? Could tracing her family tree help clear up the mystery of why she had an odd craving on Tuesdays for sorting moist yams by lump size?

She let the questions burn in her mind for many years without thought of tackling them but then, on the morning of June 15th, just after bathing, she began an earnest search.

Taking the back path past Mrs. Pheek's oak trees, she boarded a passing trolley and started off towards town. A man on the seat next to her grunted continually and claimed to be working on the rough draft of his thesis on the intricacies and origins of Norwegian lapel mites. Up the aisle, a woman in a clear, plastic babushka was slapping her inner thighs and hollering ‘creamy biscuit!’ every time the trolley hit a join in the track.

“These people are interesting.” Margie thought. “I wish I was. Maybe I will be when I find my roots!”

Reenergized by the thought, Margie got off the trolley at the next stop and bounced gaily down the sidewalk until, three blocks down, she caught up with the trolley again, boarded it, and rode it around the city for several hours, composing a sonnet to the unknown ferret.

Tiring of this sport, she hopped off the trolley at Ave. St., nearly spraining her ankle and knocking an old man to the sidewalk in the process. After recovering from her mishap and fondling the oldster in the pretense of helping him up, she entered a large, grey brick building, noting that it was composed mainly of large, grey bricks, and took the nearest elevator in hopes of pawning it later that day.

Farther down the block, Margie paused at Stan's Wild Fruit Cafe and Plumbing Supply where she bought lunch and a spool of clear plastic tubing through which she later planned to see.

After lunch and a good game of mumbledy peg with some street kids, in which her left foot was impaled to a Welsh terrier, Margie finally reached the Library and asked to see a book on family trees.

The librarian, shown here wearing only a wax plug in her navel, led Margie to books on what she called ‘genealogy’. Genealogy, it seems, is the study of genes and genes are apparently what people use for roots.

Margie became exited with the act of learning and began to smear herself with a stick of butter.

Soon she had collected enough information about tracing one’s roots to start her own search, so she set off towards a place where she suspected she might be able to find some clues regarding her ancestry: Home.

Sure enough, there, under her phone in the bedroom, sat a phone book. Eagerly tearing through it, she destroyed the book’s legibility and had to sneak next door to steal Mrs. Pheek’s, leaving a dead vole in its place

Once home and more carefully this time, Margie paged through the crinkly leaves of the soft-bound phone book, licking her fingers as she flipped through the pages and, alternately, licking the pages as she flipped through her fingers. It was thus that she found not only her own name, but that of her parents as well.

Triumphant, she ordered a pizza.

cae 2003