The Celestial Body – Stacy

I have these fits, you see.

One would hesitate to countenance my roaming at this late hour, especially with no chaperone to right my path. However, the moon is bright and full tonight, casting its cool glow over the road. It is the moon that so pulls my moods these days that I feel as though the moon himself should act as my guide. Dear Lucy only resides a bit further down this way, and I should come to no trouble in the short time that will pass before my arrival.

Oh! It should come as a surprise that she might see me this night, for she is set to be married to Lord William Henceforth in two days’ time. His wealth will surely provide for her a most promising future, though his courtship of Miss Lucy has caused a certain cessation in our once joyous social encounters. A man of his prominence sees no sense in feminine foolery that may distract his dear wife into hysterics. Certainly he must be correct in his assumptions, and fond Lucy should see herself dearly lucky to be the match of Lord Henceforth.

I have not found myself to be granted such luck. Not suited for matrimony. I crept to the drawing room door and heard, with pressed ear, Father utter this phrase with great regret at the prospect of a suitor, one Sir Edgar Marron, aged forty and seven, who had come to call upon my availability one Sunday afternoon. I will make no pleasing wife, not with the fits that so plague my being. Father has brought forth the greats of the medical profession to come to the cause of these furies, but no resolution has been unearthed. I confound the doctors who know not than this began after the June night when Lucy and I escaped to the orchards.

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A Serrated Blade – Stacy

Horatio gripped the wooden handle of the knife in his hand, sweat beading on his forehead. With one deft movement, he thrust the blade toward Agador. The sharp point shot through the small man’s hair, just missing the top of his scalp by a fraction of a millimeter, and plunged into the wooden board behind him.

The crowd cheered.

With eyes shut, Horatio released a small sigh of relief and quickly threw the remainder of the small knives at Agador’s bound body. One, two, three, four… Each blade met the flimsy board with a satisfying THWACK!, and formed a neat frame around the captive who remained motionless and silent, careful not to breathe too heavily so as not to throw off the rhythm.

Horatio only opened his eyes when the announcer’s weighty voice boomed through the megaphone. “La-dies and gen-tlemen! The great — the amazing — the fantastic Horatio! — the most daring knife thrower in all the world!” The audience blurred, all the faces blending with the lights into one mass of color and static. To the side of the stage, Agador was untied, and with a flourish, he bounded forward, arms raised triumphantly to the air as indication that he had escaped unscathed. The audience erupted into applause and whoops of laughter. Horatio gave one modest bow and retreated from the stage.

Back in the comfort of his small room, he poured a glass of bourbon, settled into his armchair, and smoothed his inky mustache. The din outside had begun to fade into the black as spectators stumbled home, eyes wide and sparkling with the magic of the night, fists clutching leftover bags of popcorn and fairy floss. As the crowds faded and the cicadas hummed in the trees, Horatio pulled out a small, metal frame from the desk drawer. With his eyes closed, he ran his fingers over the cool filigree that surrounded her face.

Helena.

He didn’t want to look at her lips curled into that sweet smile, because he could feel her eyes burn through him. It had been two months since she left, the wheels of the wagon car rolling in rhythm as he sharpened each knife over and over until the night and the road fell quiet. He didn’t blame her for leaving. After all, he was cursed. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About Your Hair – Stacy

It was no time to be a maiden.

All over the land, infant girls were being stolen from their soft, glistening cradles and swept away in the moonlight. In the girls’ innocence and beauty lied power, and their wicked kidnappers used the babes as a means of siphoning that power for their own evil purposes. As the girls grew, they knew no other life. They were often too weak and drained of energy to try to explore, but as a precaution against escape, the maidens spent languid days locked in isolate towers.

Indeed, it was no time to be a beautiful maiden, but Eldora was no maiden. Beautiful? Certainly. Her hair shined like ravens’ wings, and her eyes glowed as if possessed by emeralds. However, Eldora was a sorceress. She, personally, found all the baby stealing archaic and unnecessary, and further, she had never had much patience for children. What would one do with a baby to tend all day, no matter how lethargic it may be? She much preferred the company of Adragaron, devoted companion and wizard, in their quiet home nestled just beyond the Great Forest. The crumbling tower had seemed a far stretch when they stumbled upon it, but with time, it proved excellent as a base for summoning and flight. Completely isolated from the town, they could conduct their magic peacefully and undisturbed. In fact, they had not seen a human pass by in over a century.

This is why it came as such a surprise when Prince Herbert appeared at the foot of the tower one shining spring morning.

“Hark!” he cried, peering up at the tower, the sun in his eyes. Eldora kept a distance from the window but stared out at him curiously.

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The Summer Job – Stacy

Kate unlocked the door to the library basement, and the chill of stale air conditioning escaped into the hot summer sun. She climbed down the stairs one by one, passing librarians on their way out after the long work day.

Night shift, she sighed to herself.

Even Ms. Caparelli was leaving for the evening, her portly frame passing through the exit by the basement stairs. Ms. Caparelli had been working at the library longer than anyone else there, and Kate often mused about her. How many things had changed over her years in the building? And what on earth had driven her to stay so long? Kate liked to imagine what her personal life must be like, although she often found it difficult to muster a realistic image. The woman seemed such a staple of the library that she may very well have just ceased to exist when the building’s doors closed for the night.

Kate settled into her desk chair, the hurried sounds of last minute shuffled paper and shuffled feet turning to silence – silence and the tick, tick, tick of the clock on the wall. The second hand occasionally moved lazily, failing to make that satisfying tick during intervals of silence as it rounded out the minutes. Kate was attuned to these sorts of things.

She checked her e-mails and fidgeted in her chair. A co-worker had explained the night shift duties to her when she first began the post. You’re there in case anyone calls – in case anyone needs anything. But mostly you’re just a body at the desk.

The words echoed in her head. A body.

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