The Gifter

A tough employee conversation ends with a surprise in this modern-day fairy tale.


… He pushed away from his desk, frustrated.”You’re a gifter, Clarabelle. You’re in the union–you’ve taken the Oath. We’re supposed to be in the business of being kind.”

He pushed aside the papers to lean toward me, across his desk. He was eager, pleading.

“Don’t you want it? Don’t you want to see that moment when they pause and take a breath, right before the mouth curves up, but after the eyes have widened, when the eyebrows have lifted and the cheeks have started to pull up at the corners? When they realize what’s happened, when they start to hear the gift’s promise to their senses or their mind or their heart or all three? Isn’t that why you do it?”

I was already nodding.

Available online. First published Sept. 3 2012 by