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I used to gesture pleas, begging for the return of my voice. But she never seemed to understand why I would want such a burdensome thing back. She gave me colors — gold leaf, ultramarine blue, vermillion — so that I could draw and paint instead of speaking. The Fata found all such radiant things more compelling than the heavy and tangled mess of mortal language.
One day, after years of silent appeals, I paced about the Fata’s court and sighed. Then, an idea came. Weren’t mortals clever creatures, in their way? Perhaps they had developed some science or trick, that could return some semblance of a voice to me.
When I made up my mind to leave, at first, I could not find the Fata. I wandered through the dovecote, the apiary, the scriptorium — a kind of garden where the Fata grew books. Blossoming pages fluttered softly beneath the wind, and oak galls heavy with ink practically burst from the trees, surrounded by a shimmering profusion of wasps.
The Fata was perched atop a laurel tree; its trunk cradled her as she nestled in the fork between two vast limbs that arched overhead to provide her with shade. Usually the Fata’s radiance made everything around her as bright and beautiful as she was; the laurel tree, however, proved stubborn, and persisted in looking rather unhappy, its trunk gray and patched like a rag, its leaves browning.
The Fata contemplated me while she organized a small pile of leaves, pale and brittle in her lap of red and purple silks.
The Illuminator Leaves – Molly Etta
Trucks in Reverse – Christopher Cervelloni
Light Winds With a Chance of Velociraptors – Michelle Ann King
The Questioning Bell – Jason Baltazar
Q: How does writing speculative fiction affect your daily life (not as a writer but as a person)?
A: Speculative fiction has changed the way I look at the things we consider “everyday” objects or events. I drive to work every day, but a car would have been “speculative fiction” to George Washington. I send text messages frequently, but has a phone’s use for actually talking become obsolete? I’m constantly thinking: What new device will come that will change everything we know about the world, and — more importantly — am I conscious of the changes that are happening to me right now?
Christopher Cervelloni’s story “Trucks in Reverse” will be published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 9 June 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
Molly Etta is a graduate student in Comparative Literature, currently studying feverishly for her PhD exams while writing short fiction on the side. Her work is featured in Metaphorosis: Best of 2016 and has appeared recently in Literary Orphans as well.
Molly Etta’s story “The Illuminator Leaves” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 16 June 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.