The Rule of Three Blogfest has begun! Storyteller and author, Stuart Nager, Flash Fiction Author Lisa Vooght, and Fighter writer, J.C. Martin have included me in their team of awesomeness, and the result is that we have 65 writers busy populating the shared world of Renaissance.
If you’re a participant, go give your peers some comment love. If you’re just dropping by, do take a peek at the stories!
As hosts, we don’t win any prizes, but we can join in the fun, so here’s my entry:
Eve Demeter spent all day setting angels in order. Cherubs, really, thousands of them. Some rested their faces on their palms, deep in thought, others smiled as if they had just been burped. A few played flutes, others played with swords, laughing, blowing kisses at unseen companions. It took all day for Eve to rid their white bodies of the red dirt from the streets of Renaissance.
The cherubs had wings much too small to carry their round, well-fed bodies. They lay about, scattered like gorged bees in summer. But in truth, Aubrey Demeter wanted them just so and never let Eve forget it.
Eve didn’t know how many of them would crack with age, or fall and shatter into pieces. How many would have their eyes gouged out, arms twisted off in living rooms across Renaissance by the few children still left in the town while their spindly mothers gossiped at play dates over tea and sweets. Her job ended with dusting them. No one but Aubrey, with a man’s broad-shouldered, muscular body, a bass, deep-throated voice, and the most feminine mannerisms this side of the river Espadon, knew anything about selling those cherubs.
Eve wanted to love the white plaster figures, but could not help slapping the bottom of the heavy-set, curly-haired one behind the counter. It had the saucy eyes and lips of an old lecher, both trained at her breasts no matter where she stood.
“So this is what you do when I’m not around!” snarled Aubrey from behind her. If Eve had been polishing a smaller cherub, she would’ve dropped it.
“I’m just …” Eve mumbled, turning to find Aubrey towering, not four paces behind her. The black mane of her guardian’s hair rippled despite the stillness of the shop air.
“I saw what you did, Evie,” Aubrey’s dark eyes blazed, exaggerated by the kohl that surrounded them. “I may not be your parent in the flesh, but remember who plucked your sorry little bottom from the tree before your mewling attracted the wolves?”
The same old brimming eyes, the mention of her being an androgyne, infertile, the story about rescuing Eve, how precious a girl Eve was, how important the cherubs, how difficult it was to make a living in this town in the middle of nowhere: Aubrey never changed her tune. Eve let all of it blow over her.
“I know you aren’t listening,” Aubrey’s voice had taken on an even keel.
“I am. I’m sorry,” said Eve. “Aubrey, how long do I have to wait, to stay indoors, never see anyone?”
“As long as necessary. I never said you can’t see anyone. You can see all the women you want, you know that,” Aubrey’s voice rose again.
“But Aubrey, look at how pale I am, how fat. All the Schiavona ladies look at me when they come to the shop, and smile oh so polite, but I know what they think,” Eve looked down at her broad hips. She felt ashamed of her hips, and her breasts that spilled no matter what bodice she wore. The Schiavona women talked of massages and oils, of herbs and diets, but Eve dare not listen to them.
“You’re not fat, Eve,” Aubrey touched Eve’s face with a rough, light hand as she spoke, “You’re how real women should be, not like those scarecrows from across the desert. Just take care of the shop. I promise you, your time will come soon.”
“How will I know?” Eve asked. This was the first time Aubrey had made such a promise.
“He will tell you his name.”
Pompt: There is an argument.
Word count: 600
Characters: Eve Demeter, Aubrey Demeter, Charon Heriot (foreshadowed in the last line)