My most memorable birthday was probably my fifteenth. It started out wonderful. Saturday. No school. Chocolate chip pancakes. My little brother had a sleepover with his Scouts team, so even he didn’t ruin it, though I’m sure he would have if he could have.
And did I mention? Mark Cotter, the second-hottest guy in school (the hottest is Tad Claybourne, but he’s a jerk)had just asked me out on a date.
Bear in mind that when I say hottest, I mean on the Brains/Looks Qualitative Scale. Ted Claybourne was about a 6/10, giving him a 6 for Brains and a 10 for Looks, a cumulative 16, but not really the most attractive thing when you took into account his less-than-charming personality. Mark Cotter, on the other hand, was about an 8/7. More evenly balanced. And probably the nicest guy at school. All in all, a much better catch.
I brought him as my date to my party. It was spectacular, with fairy lights leading all the way from my grandmother’s back porch, far into the forest behind. The music and guests were all more beautiful than I could have hoped for. I think Mark was really impressed. He kissed me, even.
There was just one big problem… he thought I was human.
He moves a dusty patch of earth behind him with every step. His steps, once eager, had slowed to determined, mechanical movements.
He didn’t know how long he’d been walking. A month? A year? A lifetime.
Always he was pulled on by a waft of air, reminiscent of her smell, her hair, or a flash of movement in the distance like the swish of a dress. Continue reading
A little science fiction, in honor of Mr. Bradbury passing away earlier this month.
I miss color.
That’s the one thought going through my head as I scan item after item for customer after customer. It’s been a busy shift, what with the holiday and all. Everyone in the whole colony seems excited except for me.
I miss color.
It had seemed so cool when the opportunity first came up. I mean c’mon, I was eight. Who didn’t want to live on the moon? It had seemed like the best birthday present ever. We would be the very first, and Dad was going to develop moon-growing vegetables and Mom was going to design a drill to well deep into the surface to harvest moon ice.
Plus there was a rocket ship ride. Complete with a whole hour of anti-gravity free time. That feeling of floating, of not being weighed down by yourself or towards anything else, was the most amazing thing in the world.
I even got to wear a spacesuit. Had to, in order to get from the ship into the airlock. Fifteen minutes to put on a suit I got to wear for about two and a half. That was pretty cool, too.
Our first year was in tents, as the building happened. They’d built the entire Air-and-Grav dome around absolutely nothing to begin with, because it cost less to have people work after the dome was built, than outfit a bunch of people in suits for long periods of time. It seemed like camping. Which is fun for about two weeks. But then you kind of miss running water and warmth. The AG dome is protected from the harsh heat in the sun and cold in the shadow times, but the temperature is always either chilly or hot. And really, there wasn’t much here but rocks and dirt at first, so exploring wasn’t as exciting as it sounded.
It’s impossible to run in glass slippers.
I don’t mean difficult—I mean flat-on-your-face impossible. In fact, flat on my face is exactly how I ended up when I attempted it. One heel dislodged, my toe was still trapped, and there I was, sprawled on the marble steps, the bounty of layers from my dress thankfully breaking my fall.
The palace guards were on me in the blink of an eye. Surely someone trying so hard to get away had a nefarious reason for it, and they wanted to stop it.
That was how it happened that after an hour and a half of dancing with me—and by dancing I mean all but carrying me as he twirled; it’s impossible to dance in glass slippers also—the prince abruptly met my true self, strong-armed by two men the size of trees.
Inspired by characters from the Guardian series by Isabelle Santiago. She didn’t ask me to write this, but I felt like it was appropriate to end her debut week!
She can’t remember a time when he didn’t fascinate her.
And he was as fickle and biting as his element. Warm and sweet at times—especially when she had something he wanted—but cruel and careless at others.
She can’t remember a time when he wasn’t in love with someone else, either.
She can remember a time when it didn’t matter, though. When they all belonged to each other—a tiny family, all growing side by side. He loved her sister, but it didn’t matter, because she would always have both of them.
Until she couldn’t.
I sweep the frost from the path, whisking it away, just as my lady always asked of me when winter came. Some small part of me asks why I bother, when it will only build up again, with no feet to wander it but my own, and that of my broom.
It’s a curse that brought this everlasting winter on the castle of my birth. A curse, and love. Though what the difference is these days, I’m only half sure I remember.
With the grounds cleared, I gather my courage, to walk among statues.
The street was littered and unkempt, and my heart thundered as walked down it quickly, my eyes darting back and forth, taking note of every face.
It took me a moment to spot him, a wiry man with curly dark hair in a threadbare brown jacket, patched at the elbows. There in his buttonhole was the blue paper flower that marked his profession. He wasn’t my usual—my usual was captured, or killed maybe, by now, though I pushed the thought away. I hated going up to strangers. No one liked it nowadays. But there was no choice in it for me today.
As I got nearer the man, I made the sign that I wanted to make a transaction—I took my hat off and rolled it in my hands. I only ever wore a hat to take it off as a symbol.
The man crossed my path, casually. “So, you’re a new one, are you?”