Psychopomp Magazine Fall 2016 - Page 12

below the tower while everyone danced.

And so the pair did not leave. Alex stayed away from the village and made a new life, just as Mona had made a new life, and they started to build a home. It was made out of sky, great big pieces that Mona called down during the day. It took her a month to stitch them together, the clouds resisting her thick needle and her thick thread, but nothing could resist Mona for long, not even Alex. He told her about the village and the great wall of hands and feet that cast a long shadow over the Bastian du’Leon citadel and the bell she had once rung there. He told her about the fairy tales he had read in great big books and about the lovemaking he had seen between one man and one woman, their faces streaked with tears and their bodies bruised. Most importantly, he told her about his hair and his eyes and his lips that pressed against the pale skin of her neck.

Mona wanted to tell the boy things, but she could not, so she showed him her magic instead. It could make their shadows dance together and fall in love together, but it could not give Mona back a face to show Alex. They made the most of it though, and Alex draped the finished pieces of sky over the roof of their house like blankets while Mona memorized the sound of his footsteps. Sometimes the two would lie together and the boy would describe the way the pieces of sky changed from day to night like any good piece of sky. He would describe how dark clouds often gathered in their depths, and the stars did not shine as brightly, taken from their proper place and laid over worked wood as a roof. Mona would fidget then, and the bells above their heads would waver, ash falling and falling onto their cheeks from the sadness of it all. It did not matter though. The bells still rang each and every day. The ghosts eventually left them in peace. They lived in the forest together and made love together and finished building their home.

Mona’s magic began to grow with her happiness, but her body did not.

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