In the grey mist of dawn, the old sculptor stared up at me and I stared back. It seemed only yesterday that his filmy eyes were bright and blue, so much like his father and his great-grandfather before him whose tender hands had drawn me out of stone into the world. Each had passed to his children his knowledge of stonework, but of all their sundry creations, I was their trophy.
I first saw her walking to me with blood smeared down her arm from briar scratches and dark juice staining her mouth. Her smile was wide and she waved with both arms when she yelled, “I’m Mara!” across the field, like I was expecting her, as if I could ever have expected her. I was there early that morning, along with my brother, to clear the land for winter planting. Mara carried with her a basket full of Queen Anne’s lace, some gone to seed already, pulled up by the root. The sun glinted off the copper badge that marked her as a member of an Ark.
Wanaina the butcher, a flabby man with an unimpressive face who’d built a profession in a town where you could throw a stone and hit three other butchers at once as the stone skidded to a fourth, struggles to heave a case of beef that had been delivered that morning. He carries and stops and carries and stops, all the while sweating buckets through his too-snug white coat. He remembers a time when the task was much easier, and he could sling the case onto his shoulder like a purse and walk a kilometer that way as if it was nothing. Now however, he sucks the air out of the room just by getting up too fast. And where is that damned robot girl anyway?
It was lunch time, which meant Mrs Gourishankaran was at my cabin complaining. She demanded my immediate intervention, as if I was the entire UN peacekeeping corps. I swallowed my rice and put it away in a leisurely fashion; I pinned my badge back on. Then I sat straight and opened the window a little wider. I gave her my full attention, since I wasn’t going to give her anything else.
Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not one of your wishy-washy “sympathetic” villains, alright?
Listing: One unicorn saddle, made of purple vegan leather and embossed with pink rhinestones spelling “Emma”
I’m a girl with a reputation for being kidnapped. It’s my schtick you see. Last week, it was Frogman, stealing me away to his lilypad lair. Two months ago, Regis Studios paid me to sit captive for a guy dressed as a slug in a B-grade doozy. And don’t get me started on Big Ape II.
In the bright rays of dawn, Princess Andelusia entered her small kitchen and donned her apron. The first order of the morning would come soon.
A new &collab notification dinged just as Betto was about to close their Estate for the day. It was past 7pm. Betto had been at their desk since 5:30am for a meeting with the Middle East !Finance team. Once you received the notification, &collab was not something easily ignored. I.O.8 tracked notification deliveries. No way Betto could claim they hadn’t seen it.
Welcome to Tele-Sympathic space, buddy. My handle is Bee_Balm_Bergamot. What’s yours?