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Rule of Three Writing Challenge: Renaissance: Episode 1

 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)

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her literary crime thriller series, the Blue Mumbai, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency. Both The Blue Bar and The Blue Monsoon were published in 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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  • natz says:

    Ooh, interesting.
    Sorry I didn't manage to drop by earlier.
    Waiting for this mysterious man!

  • Interesting. And I loved the names of the characters and their exchanges too 🙂

  • A Kwee Life says:

    I enjoyed the way you started this story. It has a great flow to it and ended before I'd realized I'd read it all 🙂 The relationship between the first two characters is very interesting.

  • eeleenlee says:

    Cool , like the edge of magical realism here!

    (My Rule of 3 entry is late, sorry…!)

  • Damyanti says:

    Thanks again for the lovely comments…am grateful.

    Hope you guys are enjoying the Rule of Three!

  • Deniz Bevan says:

    Now that's an intriguing set up. Can't wait to see what happens to Eve.

  • I loved your descriptions, especially of Aubrey. Excellent dialogue between the two women.

    Interesting start. I can't wait to read next week's post.

  • An interesting start, and thanks very much for sharing. My favorite bit was probably the burping cherubs… 😀 but I also liked the conflict between Eve and Aubrey.

  • Kelley says:

    Interesting stuff. I just stopped in to say hi and to thank you again for being on my blog. I like how it turned out 🙂

  • Colleen Chen says:

    Wow, this is really unique–wonderful beginning, and characters with lots of layers. I can't wait to read the next part. 🙂

  • Sonja says:

    I really like the setting up of the scene…I love the juxtaposition of the cutsey cherubs and the beefy shopkeeper :0)
    Looking forward to the next installment – hope you're well soon!

  • Nick Rolynd says:

    Great start! I can't wait to read more. The whole cherub thing reeled me in. =P

    – Nick

  • May-Day_Aura says:

    I like how much you can tell about Eve by how she describes her job and the angels in the store.

  • Damyanti says:

    Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments. I'm not so well, so I wont answer individually, but I appreciate each and every one of you, and your comments.

    To my co hosts Stu, Li, and JC, I'm so grateful to have you as my friends. Thanks for everything, guys, really.

  • Reka Sang says:

    I really enjoyed the flow of this one…..your writing has the ability to draw and leave us wanting more.

  • Third time I'll try to leave a comment..sigh…

    loved the story, the background info, the need for the cherubs is intriguing, the culture of the women, their connections…so much, so deep, and as always, so well written.

    Also, and most importantly: Dont' be so modest.

    Folks, a big THANK YOU to Damyanti, who is the one who invited US to join HER in starting a blogfest. She sent me an email asking me if I'd like to work with her on creating/co-hosting a blogfest in July. I owe her a HUGE bag of Thanks and Appreciations. This has been a blast.

    Thank you Damyanti.

  • J.C. Martin says:

    I am truly intrigued. What cool names. And Charon Heriot? Of Heriot's Pass, perhaps? 🙂

  • Donna Hole says:

    Intriguing setup. Those cherubs are giving me the creeps 🙂 Eeek, I hope Charon is not the fat lecherous one . .


  • Melissa Dean says:

    Loved it! I love your writing style, so descriptive and flows really well. I would definetly keep reading!

  • jana-denardo says:

    This is an intriguing start. Eve's isolation should make for an interesting twist I'm sure.

  • li says:

    Wow! pretty good, for last minute. I think you work best under deadline :-)) Like the lecherous cherub – nice touch.

  • I like the dynamic between the two characters. It seems like such an odd society, and I want to see where it takes her.

  • ooo, I like this. Will have to post mine up later tonight. 🙂 Way to go Damyanti

  • Jodi Su says:

    Oh, the power of the name! Well, I am waiting to read what comes next! You hooked me in…the visual of the white cherubs and dust is so strong!

  • andrea says:

    Great start, loved how these two interacted, knowing each other so well but still keeping their secrets. – andrea

  • Renee says:

    A darkness under that convo, I can't help but wonder about the "models" for the cherubs. Will be back!

  • Excellent! Poor Eve! Can't wait to see what happens. 🙂

  • Joshua says:

    I'm waiting for some of those cherubs to become real cherubs, and that lecherous-looking one to give her a pinch.

  • Kurt Hartwig says:

    Fun start!

    I'm looking forward to seeing how the worlds of all of the storytellers can start to overlap in the coming weeks.

  • Sounds like she needs some real angels surrounding her. She wouldn't be the "fatted calf" about to be served, is she? Brrr. Come on, angels! Someone needs you! Great job, Roland

  • Misha says:

    Sounds interesting! Loved the picture you painted with the angel statues lying about. ^_^

  • I've yet to start mine, but now I have an idea to get me going. Loved your first entry! Looking forward to part two! 🙂

  • Jon Paul says:

    A fascinating set-up, and the friction between the ladies is palpable.

    Looking forward to the next installment! 😀

  • Rick G says:

    Agree with Richard. I too noticed the Cinderella-ish leanings. Can't wait to see how it plays out.

  • Richard says:

    Good start, intriguing really. It has a flair of Cinderella to it. I'm definitely hooked. Good luck.