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The day that Fabian Vitalik’s wife left, rain masked the roar of the sea just beyond their rock garden. Fabian ended fishing early because of the storm, and came home to find his wife dozing on the sofa by the window, unfazed by the sharp pat pat pat of rain fingers on glass.
He found her enthralling when she was still and senseless like this, so he sat down and watched her breathe, the pearl necklace that rested on her chest rising and falling like waves. Their handmade string of seashells hanging from the ceiling tinkled above her head.
“I love you,” Fabian whispered to her sleeping figure, rubbing fish grease on his pants. He thought his wife was most beautiful when she was human.
Of course, she was famous for her shape-shifting. When he’d first seen her high up on the stage, twirling and morphing into other things, the audience had gone wild for the black sleekness of her cat’s fur, the shine of her teapot porcelain surface, the perfume that wafted from her petals when she mutated into a lilac bush. Oh yes, he remembered the hoots and howls of men when she danced her way across the stage as only a dress, the movement of shimmering fabric emphasizing the curves of the woman that would be underneath.
He had stared up at her in that crowd, marking the flashes of skin when she would have to, for a moment, be herself again before transforming into something she was not.
The Wife of Fabian Vitalik – Mariah Montoya
My Book Report on Starlight – Joachim Heijndermans
The Number of the Tribe – Gerald Warfield
Notes Towards a New Fairytale – Patrick Doerksen
Q: What work of art has been the most inspiring for you?
A: Eragon by Christopher Paolini springs to mind. I read it when I was little and fell in love, and am still so incredibly impressed by the fact that he wrote it as a teen fresh out of high school. Part of the inspiration is good old jealousy. I joke a lot to my friends about how far behind him I slip with each passing year of age. But more than that, I think the book goes to show that you can never be too young, too new, or too inexperienced to make something great if you’re willing to work hard at it.
- Notes Towards a New Fairytale – Patrick Doerksen
- The Number of the Tribe – Gerald Warfield
- My Book Report on Starlight – Joachim Heijndermans
- The Wife of Fabian Vitalik – Mariah Montoya
Cover art by Carol Wellart.
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Patrick Doerksen lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. He wishes that his carbon footprint were smaller and his repertoire of long German compound words were bigger. He is glad a bookish lifestyle furthers both goals.
Q: Can beautiful things be funny?
A: Rarely. Marilyn Monroe was both; Cameron Diaz, and Sandra Bullock have had their moments. Rowan Atkinson is not, by most standards, beautiful, but the laughter and joy he induces in me when I listen to old Not The Nine O’clock News tapes is… beautiful.