My promotional Facebook ad campaign is far from ready. An upside down, high resolution, Marlene Dietrich holding my self-published book awaits my intervention. I hesitate before choosing the rotate option or is it the flip? Marlene looks regal, confident in her fur coat. What would Marlene think of a book starting with:
She loved lemons and would squirt them on everything, their yellow rind reminding him of her sunshine. Lemons never tasted sweeter. Without her, his heart wouldn’t beat right.
In the Archial, what some call the Little Light Library, it is always night. The distant ceiling is a night’s sky held by pillars, and connecting those pillars are shelves of books coated in leather and dust. The only light comes from lanterns. Inside steel cages, white fires flicker eternally, generated by a lost art. The lanterns are stars if anything. The lower one travels, the bluer those stars. Deep enough and there are no lights at all.
I take the skins of the women my lover loved. I flesh them until they are paper thin. They are folded stacked in a box at the back of my closet. The box is cherry wood and the lock is made of gold. I know it should be silver, because silver contains powerful magic, and sometimes I hear the skins shifting and whispering to each other.
Think what you want.
He left me no choice.
The Mooney woman taught him how to do it. She was forbidden to be on the premises, but she called Alfie over one day when he was playing near the fence that bordered the lane. The call was a high fluttering whistle, dancing like a mountain stream. He had been building a den from old branches and bracken when he heard, and though he knew from whence came the sound, he was drawn there as though to a trove of sweets.
A small bird lands at the roadside, scuffing the hot dust, and she asks the tour guide what it is.
“Zebra finch,” he says. “They’re what you wanna see if you’re lost out here.”
Eilidh watches the bird dab at the earth with its orange beak.
“Must be water somewhere close,” the guide says. “They never stray far from it.”
“I wouldn’t either,” she says.
The wonderful Leila Allison is keeping us well supplied with Rerun suggestions and they are all superb choices. Thank you so much Leila. This is what she had to say about November Moon:
Well it’s been a busy week here at Literally Stories. We worked our way through forty odd stories (And some good ones!)
We have reached the quarter of a million hits and all is well in our wee writing world.