“Fragile” now out in B is for Broken

B is for Broken cover

Broken people, broken promises, broken dreams and broken objects are just some of the ways these 26 fantastic stories interpret the theme of ‘Broken’. From science fiction to fantasy, horror to superheroes the stories within these pages cover a vast swath of the genres under the speculative fiction umbrella.

And here is what I did with the letter Y…

Glittering antiques and gleaming motorcycles…vagabond worlds gentle and brutal, and slowly disappearing…a neoVictorian tends to her twinkling market table full of rescued porcelain and fading gilt, trying to keep vintage treasures safe from careless hands. But teatime may be over forever when a biker steps into her delicate world, looking for answers about a dazzling memorial of his own. Lace gives way to leather in this short piece of magical realism.

* * *

“So how long have you been doing the market thing?” he asked.

“Oh, forever. My mother and I have always been travelers.”

He’d seen a lot of the country, too. Riding in packs with his family, and all their friends, heading off to gatherings of thousands. Magazines, fashions, millions of dollars thrown behind a world that had never died out or needed a revival. She envied him as they juxtaposed maps, compared the places they’d been as the moon rose in the sky. Tipped each other off to cities that were safe for overnight parking and unconventional dress, and which ones were much too fast to call the cops.

“It all looks the same, though, after awhile. Every town we go to, my dad’s got stories about bars that got torn down, places that don’t exist anymore. It’s all gotten built over.” Adrian finished the last can and crushed it in his fist.

She flashed on an image of her mother, alone outside their camper, bravely raising one lone teacup against a tidal wave of beige.

“What was Marithe like?” she asked.

He answered with a grim little smile. “My mother went when I was so young, before I had a chance to get to know her. You know, as a real person. Your parents are just fairytales when you’re a kid, these mythical people, right? And she was a witch. She rode, but she had a real artistic side, spiritual. The whole house was covered in those chimes, she started selling them at the market when we had no room left. After she passed, my dad cleared out everything of hers. Had to get rid of it all, it was killing him to have it around. But I wouldn’t let him take the mooncatcher. She made that one just for me, it’s all I have left of her. That whole world that died with her.”

The crystals edged the silence with soft bells. Charla thought about her tables at the market, the unknown histories behind each piece: the polite clinking conversations of silver cutlery against fine china. The whisper-drip of wax making its way down a pewter stem, pooling in a scalloped dish. The satisfying click of a lock sliding into place, keeping secrets inside a carved wooden box.

Vintage things held souls; these were the voices of the dead.

She thought of careless women plucking at babydolls, angry children coming to smash them.

I’m breakable too. And I can’t be.

* * *

Available on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.

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