Sunday, January 19, 2014

the groundskeeper - 4. the green dress of lady dodsley

by nanette nanao

illustrations by danny delacroix

editorial consultant: Prof. Dan Leo

time passed.

marthe passed away. this event shocked me as no other before or since.

"the first death is the most final." did some wise and ancient philosopher say that or did i just write it now? it just "popped into my head" as i sit here.

no doubt the last - one's own - will be even more final.

charles and berthe had been kinder to me than marthe had, and after being taken up by mademoiselle i had spent more time with charmian, but marthe's sudden - sudden to me - demise had an effect not only on my feelings but perhaps on my fate.

"good god, what are you blubbering about?" these were the first more or less harsh words i can remember mademoiselle uttering to me. "stay away from me, please, until you can compose yourself in a more civilized manner."

and so i did - compose myself in a more civilized manner, before returning myself to mademoiselle's company. and how long did it take me to do so? ten minutes? an hour? a day? did this little event i am describing even happen?

my old acquaintance the philosopher the baron de b------- (of whom more later - perhaps - if i continue this memoir) spent long hours boring myself and others on the subject of the porous and self-regenerating (was that his phrase - self-regenerating?) nature of memory. i had quite forgotten his lectures until now - when the circumstances - the winter sun through the window of the comte de f----'s chateau - the green dress of the englishwoman lady dodsley - suddenly spring back into my brain as framed as any painting -

yes, lady dodsley - of all those who - or should i say, whose pictures - come back to me from that time, somehow i think you are the most likely to still be alive somewhere - even if you are over a hundred years old - for what could happen to you - you who seemed above even boredom - who had a dozen or so houses in the somnolent english countryside to escape to if need be - what could mere time do to you?

and your green dress - and your white hat! even if by some chance - and no one is entirely immune to chance - you perished a week or a day after i saw you last - surely the dress and the hat are preserved in one of the aforementioned country houses - immune to dust and time and fashion -

for complete episode, click here

Sunday, January 12, 2014

the fourteenth princess, chapter 11: troublemakers

by emily de villaincourt

illustrated by danny delacroix and konrad kraus

editorial consultant: Prof. Dan Leo

the guards locker room and lounge was just inside the front door.

helga had a desk in a little area partitioned off in a corner of the room. she was sitting at it one morning making out a duty roster when two of the guards - zelda and monika - came in. they walked over to the desk.

zelda spoke. "good morning, helga."

"good morning." helga looked up, mildly curious. the guards did not have to "report" to her, they just had to be where they were supposed to be at the right time.

zelda looked down at the paper helga was writing on. "any changes?"

"no. not really. why, did you want some change?"

"no. but i got a question."

monika sat down on the edge of the desk. "you don't mind if i park my fat ass here, do you?"

"be my guest. what is your question?" helga asked zelda.

"some of us were hanging out at terry's down in the village last night, and we got to talking - " zelda looked over at monika but monika was just staring at helga .

"and -?" helga prompted her.

"well, you know how some of us are helping the girls - our girls - with their books that they're writing -?"

"yes, i've heard that some of you are," helga answered.

"it's not against the rules," said zelda.

"i know, it's says right in the rules that you can. and there's some stuff about the staff not having expertise or something. so?"

"how about you?" monika interrupted. "you helping your girl out?"

"no, she's pretty bright, she doesn't need any help from me."

"but you would if she asked you?"

helga shrugged. "maybe. she's not asking me."

"and besides," monika eyed helga. "you're pretty busy running the place and all."

for complete episode, click here

Sunday, January 5, 2014

l'amour, part 48

by gabrielle-jeanette perfidy

illustrated by rhoda penmarq

part forty-eight of seventy-eight

for previous chapter, click here

to begin at the beginning, click here

"perhaps you would like a scone. we have some english ones, they are quite authentic."

"thank you monsieur, that would be most agreeable."

"ah, what am i thinking, you must let me take your coat."

leonie took her coat and scarf off and handed them to jean-louis,

who seemed both distracted and oddly ebullient.

at this point the reason for leonie's appearance

at such an odd hour had not been addressed.

part 49