Friday, May 27, 2011


Jana says the soulless were Angels once, the template for all of us gone terribly wrong.

I asked how He could make such a mistake. The priest slapped me so hard I slammed into a pillar. After a day on my knees where the terrible things happen, I didn’t ask again.

Mama cried because my beauty had been spoiled and penance had made me worthless.

Headaches came, like spikes in my brain, every time I passed the church.

I prayed, and Angels came to paint the cathedral red. I sprinkled them with water, blessing their recycled souls.

No one kneels anymore.

Sunshine Laws

“Stand,” the matron says. “Observe.”

We obey, wanting to look away. Stephen glares, defiant. Doomed. I want to rescue him, hold him close. I have loved him for ages. He doesn’t know my name.

“Structure keeps us safe,” the matron says. “You know the dangers out there.”

We don’t, having never seen. Others have been caught trying to look outside. This is my fourth Assembly, but the first time I’ve cared.

Blades fall.

Stephen vaults. Up, over. Gone

He flings open the blast doors.

We scramble for the shadows, skin smoking.

Stephen blows me a kiss, and bursts into flame

Truth and Consequences

I murmured her true Name, sang liquid metal into a ropy structure. I’d observed her so long, sculpting her curves took little effort.

“What is it?” She hugged me, his scent on her skin, her smile his doing.

Bile rose from the pit of my stomach. “A dress form. It needs to be fitted.”

Metal vines enveloped her. She laughed until leaves sprouted to seal her lying mouth, her nose.

“We had an agreement.”  A simple fact.  I should not have had to remind her.

As thorns grew, pierced skin, her eyes offered desperate apologies. Too late.

“All you had to do was ask first.” Why do they never believe me?


“Say grace.” Darla scowls by her cast-iron stove.

“It’s your death cult, not mine.”

“Blasphemy.” She flips another pancake.

“Can’t be condemned if I never believed.”

“Someone neglected your education,” she says. “If enough people think you’re disrespecting their beliefs, you’ll hang for it.”

“Faith should withstand challenges and dissent.” I pour syrup over the flapjacks.

The perfect beauty of the Light-Bringer forms in the sticky liquid. No one would report this daily miracle. People have forgotten Him.

I swallow the divine, go to school, and wait to be blessed as a true believer when Iblis awakens the world.


I hate making wedding dresses, but like the money. Tense brides, begging to be worthy of white, hear promises I don’t make.

One bad stitch, a single mistake, and my clumsy fingers will ruin the enchantment of their day. You’d expect them to use better magic, stronger, to bind a man forever. Those with the proper spell rarely divulge the price for casting.

Our mothers started a revolution, organic wisdom of the self. We tried to swallow it, but candy-coated romance tasted so much better.

A tiny drop of blood mars a hidden seam. I do my part for freedom.