The Eleventh Arm

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“It will change nothing.  I know this.  I didn’t do it out of defiance, or for justice, or even fame.  No one knows it is me.  And no one will know.  If they did, they would say it was unholy, what I’ve wrought.  They would say it was unnatural.  They would say it must be destroyed.  As it is, they are charmed at least, mildly amused, at least.  At best, they are cheered, enchanted, even inspired.  So perhaps in some way, I’ve done it for vengeance? No, that’s not right either.  No one should paint out of vengeance.  No, if you paint, you should paint out of love.”

I watched my friend sit back and take a sip.  Elna set down her cup and presented her hands to me, all eleven of them.  Continue reading

The Blinding of the Mice

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I could not see the edge of the knife, but I felt the promised bite of the blade at the base of my tail.  Courage is a strange thing.  For when you think you have it, you are wrong.  And when you think you don’t have it…you are wrong.

When I stepped ever-so-carefully onto that dais where the Ritual was to begin, I thought I had all the courage I would need.

I was wrong.

*** Continue reading