She is called Rose, and she works in a House of Pretty Ladies. This is not me, I am not here, she tells herself when she is with clients. But the night after the city falls victim to a conquering empire, she encounters a young prince whose sadness makes it impossible for her to keep her own griefs forgotten.
Spring comes, and Rose becomes more restless. The conquerors start home but the prince lingers, and she wonders if he will ask her to go back with him. She does not know if she loves him, or if that even matters. For the first time in the years since she fled to Madame’s House, Rose considers what she wants and whether it might be possible to hope again. It would mean becoming open as a child: it would mean believing that there could be comfort and solace, relief and love.
A novella and anti-fairy tale with a medieval setting, Rose explores themes of love and loss, healing and the fragility of hope.
Rebecca Lartigue teaches literature at Springfield College. Last year the Springfield Cultural Council (a local division of the Massachusetts Cultural Council) awarded her an Artist Fellowship in support of her fiction. Her work has appeared in The Speculative Edge and is forthcoming in Massachusetts Review. She can be reached via the contact page at www.rebeccalartigue.com.
Now on Sale:
10% discount code: HDCYF4CR at this online store; eligible for Free Shipping at Amazon; Kindle.
Storylandia 8: Dr. Hackenbush Gets Some Culture on Kindle. Free to borrow for Amazon Prime members. Reviews very welcome.
“Why am I here? What am I doing here? What have I done to deserve this? Why must I suffer?”
Mabel Hackenbush, vocalist, front-woman and baritone ukulele player extraordinaire for Dr. Hackenbush and her Orchestra, leaned over the man in a baggy tuxedo curled into fetal position on the garden bench. She didn’t lean too far because her black horn-rim glasses slid down her nose and her form-fitting evening gown gave new meaning to the words ‘plunging neckline’; this neckline was deep like the Mariana Trench is deep. “What was that, Arlo?” she snapped. “Speak up, pal, I can’t hear a word you’re sayin’ down there.”
Arlo Mega uncurled and leapt to his feet and shook his fist at the oak tree, and presumably the heavens, above them. “I said, why must I suffer?!” He yelled this, so not only Hackenbush but the party guests nearby heard it as well.
“Because you’re a great artist, but a fucking disaster in social situations.” Hackenbush smiled pleasantly and waved at the people staring at them as she said this. “And if you won’t drop this martyred artist pose I will leave you here all by yourself to defend yourself from these art patrons, posers, socialites, and other such weirdoes.”
Arlo got a hurt look on his face. “You wouldn’t do that to me. I asked you to help me through this ordeal.”
“Then straighten up and fly right, Mr. Mega,” Hackenbush sighed, adjusting her black horn-rim glasses. “Or at least do your half of the schmoozing. I didn’t give up one of my precious nights off to listen to you whine.” She pulled his jacket shoulders back into some semblance of order; there was nothing to be done with his hair, which stuck up in coarse black tufts even on good days. “Remember, it’s all for a good cause. You like East LA Graphics as much as anyone who studied there.”
“This is a stupid way to raise money,” Arlo grumbled, pulling his cuffs straight.
“I heard they fed you pretty good lunches,” she said, lighting an unfiltered Pall Mall and picking a shred of tobacco off her tongue.
“Food! Who can think of food when you’re standing in a room with other artists copying a Siqueiros easel painting, one I’d never heard of, and wouldn’t have heard of if this sick obsession white people are having with Frida Kahlo wasn’t driving the prices of every dead Mexican painter through the ceiling. Thanks,” he said, accepting a Pall Mall and a light. “Don’t get me wrong, Hackenbush, I have nothing against Siqueiros and Kahlo,” he continued. “I think it’s high time they and that whole scene, except Rivera, got more recognition. It’s just having twelve ‘up-and-coming’ LA painters copy the damn thing so Mr. Lawrence Vogler can show off his Siqueiros that he probably got for a goddam song in the sixties, and then auction off the copies and the money goes to ELAG.” Arlo favored her with one of his best sneers. “What a joke. If they really cared, they’d just auction off some of the work in my studio and give me a cut. I’d settle for half.”
The Wapshott Journal of Fiction
Julie Travis The Falling Man
How many souls are there in Heaven?
Perhaps it is not our place to know or even ask such a thing. But if we did, would the real question be how many truly deserve to be there? If anyone had asked Joseph Gray he would have laughed, a bitter and angry sound. He was the one person who could at least estimate how many souls had passed through Heaven’s gates and, more importantly, he knew for certain how many had done so on merit. The numbers, he’d smirk, don’t add up, do they?
Rohan Roberts A New Awakening
Part 1: The Beginning
It took them a surprisingly long time to figure out that they were living in a universe that was just one bubble in a vast surging cosmic ocean filled with other bubble universes. But in a few hundred years after this discovery, it became common knowledge and found its way into the textbooks of their kindergarten students. Terms such as multiverse, metaverse, megaverse rapidly gained currency among the children of their species. Parallel dimensions, doppelganger particles, holographic realities, and hyperspace became an integral part of the primary school science curriculum in schools all over their home planet.
David Neilsen My Partner
My favorite part is when I rip through their flesh.
I love the way the skin gives for just a millisecond, as if by bending inward it can somehow avoid the inevitable. Then, almost immediately, the battle is over, the flesh is torn open, and I pierce into a whole new world. It’s a world not of air, but of viscera. Not of sound and light, but of blood and bone.
Irene Turner Dead Places
Memories are futile here. We erase the past because it works better that way. New settlers are full of Earth gossip and trip stories and don’t understand why we nod politely, but don’t listen. We came to Mars for space.
Storylandia, Issue 6, Winter 2012
The Wapshott Journal of Fiction
Paullette Gaudet, The Deepest Crease Visible; T Sheehan, Amie and Sherry and the Twilight Diner; V. Ulea, Expecting a Star; JJ Steinfeld, The Furtive Men Play the Wretched Bar; Dustin Grayson, Best Head Ever; Chris Castle, Mall in Rainbows; cover by Magda Audifred
Where to buy: 10% off with this code: HDCYF4CR at this online store; Amazon, eligible for free shipping; Kindle ebook format only until July 20, 2012.
We were driving back to the city from Indio after the Coachella concert, and Mark, my best friend and roommate, was asking his usual road-trip questions. They had advanced over the years from things like “Would you rather be burned to death, or suffocate?” or “You and boyfriend Quentin Tarantino seek a third, available weekends—who responds to your ad?” to ones like “Would you be willing to live without love, if it meant you could own a house outright?” Mark had adjusted his questions recently to accommodate my increasing retreat from whimsy, I think—his more absurd proposals were now reserved for new acquaintances, and when I overheard them they made me sad for a time when I was younger, and drunker, and still thought I would someday meet Quentin Tarantino. Mark couldn’t, even for me, make his questions completely dull, so it didn’t surprise me when he asked, “Would you ever date a midget?”
On the morning of her 25th birthday, on a July day, Amie Lightstreet walked into the Twilight Diner, just off Exit 185, US 80 eastbound, in Pennsylvania. She went immediately to a table in the far corner, the last empty booth in the diner just before a couple came in the door. The waitress hurried over with a menu and said, “Coffee, Hon?”
She was expecting a baby.
“What are you having?” he wondered, watching the sunset.
“I think it’s going to be a star,” she said quietly, answering his thoughts.
He only smiled, caressing her head. She still looked like a girl—slim and lithe, her shoulders buried in a golden waterfall of hair.
Last time she gave birth to a wave. Emerald green—just like the color of her eyes—and it added music to the ocean.
“The ocean is silent on the inside and sounding on the outside,” she had said. “It needs music…” She had not known she was pregnant with the wave.
I still can’t get that writer woman out of my mind. It’s been almost a year since we were last together, since she disappeared, but I’m not worried about her. I know that wherever in the world she is, that woman knows exactly what she’s doing. It took me a long time to understand why she came to the stinking little bar I work at, but I sure found out. She called it the Wretched Street Bar and I liked that name a hell of a lot more than the Lilac Avenue Lounge, which it’s been called for longer than anyone I know can remember. She also gave the house band a great name: The Furtive Men. I’d like to see that writer woman again, but that’s impossible, as impossible as me ever quitting this place I work at and getting a regular daytime job.
Dustin Grayson Best Head Ever
Brian Hughes did not like to make an entrance. Attention made him sweat. His pink skin would blanch and turn the sour color of buttermilk. He was a teenager, looked exactly like one, and was nothing short of ordinary. He walked into St. Pius the same time as Paul, and while he had both hands open, no one shook, clapped, or embraced them. The only classmates who knew him were Paul and Katie Lee Marcovich, the girl he has loved ever since preschool.
Chris Castle The Mall in Rainbows
Henry Crowe walked back to the mall and fished the keys out of his pocket. He’d decided and then un-decided about ten times over. As he pulled the keys out of his pocket and jammed them in with a deep breath. He closed the door behind him without another thought.
The mall itself kept a certain amount of lights on overnight. As he stepped onto the ground floor the place was streaked in great, thick shadows; shops were visible but barely recognizable. The fast food places looked oddly beautiful and mysterious; the exclusive clothes shops seemed cheap and hokey. Henry stepped over to the fountain and dipped his fingers under the water, something that during the day he was forbidden to do. He looked down into the water and saw the coins shimmering back up at him. On his lunch break he counted them in sections; one half was tallied and one half remained.
He stepped onto the escalator and adjusted to the strange sensation of it not moving. His body wavered and he laughed, forcing one foot up and then the next, thinking; this is what it must feel like for a spaceman on the moon. The sound his feet made were not heavy and clunky as he imagined but lighter, like a football hitting a post. The sound reverberated across the whole spread of the building and as he reached the top level he was surprised to find he was out of breath. His thirties kept finding ways to keep him on his toes; sometimes it made him feel younger and other times it snapped at him and whispered he was old.
“Hey!” a voice called out from out of nowhere. Henry jolted back in shock and almost pitched back onto the escalator, grabbing the rail at the last moment. If he had had the breath he would have screamed. He looked round and saw a girl staring at him; in her left hand was a pink rucksack, in her right a can of mace.
Welcome to this Google Alerts feed! Here you will receive new alerts for your Everything query ""rebecca lartigue"". Depending on your query, it might take some time before any items pop up. Go to the Alerts Management console to change the alert query or delete it. Thanks for using Google Alerts. […]
Welcome to Storylandia, issue 7 of the Wapshott Journal of Fiction. In these pages a sin eater faces an unspeakable horror, a brilliant scientist is studied as she ...https://www.createspace.com/3984692 […]
Where to buy: coming soon! In the meantime, here's a sampler of the issue Enjoy! Storylandia The Wapshott Journal of Fiction Issue 7. Julie Travis The Falling ...www.storylandia.wapshottpress.com/.../storylandia-7-coming-s... […]
Precise. This is how I describe the whole issue, from 1-6, of Storylandia by Wappshot Press. I never read such well-pick literary works gathered in one anthology.hailgil.blogspot.com/.../book-review-storylandia-1-6-wappsho... […]
Congratulations to Storylandia author Paullette Gaudet for her essay, Academic Barbie being choosen the featured essay at Intellectual Refuge on May 18, 2012 ...www.storylandia.wapshottpress.com/.../congratulations-paullet... […]
The journal's print version is coming out later this month, but RIGHT THIS SECOND you can get the Kindle version of Storylandia 6, with my story, here: ...paullettegaudet.blogspot.com/.../storylandia-6-now-available-o... […]
The Falling Man will appear in the beautiful looking Storylandia literary fiction magazine in the autumn. This is very good news; the momentum that I'd managed ...www.storylandia.wapshottpress.com/.../coming-soon-storyland... […]
The Falling Man will appear in the beautiful looking Storylandia literary fiction magazine in the autumn. This is very good news; the momentum that I'd managed ...julietravis.wordpress.com/.../the-falling-man-accepted-for-stor... […]
Storylandia, The Wapshott Journal of Fiction, is proud to present these stories in Issue 5, Winter 2012: “Negative Man” by Theresa Hinkle, “The Bubblehead ...www.storylandia.wapshottpress.com/2012/02/.../storylandia-5/ […]