Danielle Gilyot

My Cocoasis sister and fellow writer Danielle Gilyot has just published her latest short story When the Bough Breaks in Specter Literary Magazine. Check out the excerpt below.

Nadine took the money out of their savings account that morning without telling her boyfriend. 300 dollars. Gabe would have a fit. Half-running down Magazine Street because New Orleans’ buses wanted to be extra slow today, she made it to the fancy baby store within ten minutes to closing time. Thank goodness. No one had bought it yet. The white-wooden jewelry box adorned with small pink flowers on vines. Little hearts instead of thorns. The ballerina’s brown limbs positioned into a perfect arabesque. Nadine looked down at her stomach. Six weeks. It was a girl. She felt it. 300 dollars. Her little girl would be a ballerina, too.


An elderly black woman waved Nadine inside of the store. Nadine smiled with embarrassment. No more window stalking. She had the money.


“Isn’t she lovely?” The woman asked. “I’ve seen you. On your way home, I assume. I think your nose print it still on the window from yesterday.”


“I’ve been waiting for right moment to buy her,” Nadine answered. “I used to dance.”


“I see. Well take your time, dear.”


As the woman disappeared into the back of the store, Nadine looked around. A pink-and-white-lace wonderland. Christening dresses packaged inside clear garment-bags. Tiny black, patent-leather Mary Jane shoes with ruffled socks displayed on a table. Satin hair bonnets, pink-flowered head bands, porcelain piggy banks. This place was made for little girls. The kind of little girl Nadine would have. Cocoa butter and baby powder. Powder-puff cheeks. She’d have Gabe’s beautiful green eyes. Brown skin like the ballerina. Like her Mama. Nadine’s little girl. Sugar and spice and everything nice.

Lifting the jewelry box so she could hear the music up close, Nadine saw the price tag. 375 dollars written in a beautiful green ink. She’d have to wait until payday at the end of the week to get the rest of the money. Using the word “layaway” seemed blasphemous for this kind of store. Placing the jewelry box back into its spot in the window display, she left the store before the woman could see her.


“We’ll get it soon enough,” Nadine said to her stomach.

Man, look, I am so proud of Danielle! Be sure to click the link below to read the entire story! Tssstssstssstsss!

[When the Bough Breaks - Specter Literary Magazine]

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