From the Desk of the Editor;
Welcome to Issue Seven, Volume Two of Larks Fiction Magazine! We are excited to say we almost finished setting up our new office. We had two out of three computers break down and a misunderstanding with our internet provider (a mistake in which address to use)--BUT by Tuesday we should be back to 100% and back on sending out letters to anyone who has submitted work to us.
This week we are featuring two works of realistic fiction by two lovely women writers. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a few deadly kisses to kick off your October.
Daniel J. Pool
by Samantha Memi
Sweet as honeydew her lips touched his, 'Oh Sugar,' he cried, 'kill me with kisses.'
Mm. Mm. Mm.
Sugar slipped out into the night. Whispers of frost flickered around her.
'Looking for business?' she hissed to the man in the car that slowed beside her. Her ears were all icicles as she bent to listen to his answer.
'Can you warm an old man up?' he asked.
'Twenty pounds,' was her reply.
She slithered beside him and he drove to a quiet place she knew well.
After alleviating the hypothermia in his veins she drained the affection from his soul and left him in cold storage.
In the newspaper reports the following day it was said that a substance, at first thought to be cocaine and later found to be icing sugar, was discovered near the body.
Her heels clacked and, as she neared her quarry, her heart beat faster. Nails, painted metalic, tickled his jugular. Teeth, polished pearly white, flecked his skin with poppies. A knife as sharp as a razor opened his throat like a faucet. Blood splattered his shirt, pants and car seat. A faint gurgle emanated from his throat, caught on the wind, and was heard by young lovers in a car nearby. Searching for the source of the sound they found his body cold and still.
'He's so young,' said the girl.
'No older than me,' said her friend.
She found the knife and picked it up, 'Ooh look,' she said.
'Don't touch it,' he shouted, and she let it fall.
He felt the man's heart just in case some life was left, found a wallet and opened it to see who he was. Inside was a wad of notes. 'Look at this,' he said, and the police arrived.
Each gave the other an alibi but as both were black and the dead man was white they were tried and found guilty and languish now; he in a cell far from love; she in a grave, because death, sweet as honey, kissed her one night.
Sugar still walks the evening streets. Her skin opalescent, her lips fiery red, but her mind has been saddened by the suicide of a young girl in prison. Deep inside she knows the innocent should not be punished and she blames herself for the death of someone she did not kill.
About the Author:
Samantha Memi is a writer of all types of fiction who lives in London. More information is available on her website at http://samanthamemi.weebly.com/
By Holly Green
In a hidden cave, away from the city, lived a group of people ostracized from society and forced to live in secret. Still having to abide by laws of prejudice they could not live freely in the city and be treated kindly by the citizens. Their ways of life were not viewed as sacred and their traditions were hated. A negative connotation followed their name for centuries and still exists strongly in Europe. This name was labeled them by disapproving townspeople hundreds of years ago. The name Gypsy.
Gypsies, who inhabited this cave, held fast to traditions passed down from ancestors, and cherishing their heritage that made them who they were. They were afraid, however, that their ways would be forgotten soon and remembered no more, for their kind was dying out. Still, they had one last tradition to practice before they were gone. They had waited forty years for the right birthday of a child who could carry out vengeance against an enemy from the Holocaust, who had much of their clan carried off to the gas chambers. This child had to be female and born on a day when the sun and moon aligned to make a lunar day.
At the onset of dusk, Katarina stood with her daughter at the mouth of the cave. Her long dress of purple, black and green and a black lace scarf swirled about her head. The skin of her face still showed life and the shape was still round; however, lines had formed around her weary eyes and Marlena could see many a hard day in them.
“Daughter, this is very important,” Katarina said. “For our people...”
“I know, mama. Keep the tradition alive.”
Katarina smiled proudly, took her face in her hands and said, “This is what you have been trained for all of your life.”
“I know, Mama.”
Katarina released her and took a step back, saying, “Go. Do this for our people.”
Marlena was ready to do it; she gave her mother an encouraging smile before heading off into the night.
A cool wind blew as Marlena walked the cobblestone streets. Not many people were out and the shops were closed for the evening. Only a few cars and scooters traveled down the road. She passed one person on a bicycle, who hissed at her as he rode past. “Gypsy!”
Marlena walked to the train station on the edge of town. The lights were not bright enough for her to be seen clearly from a distance. She stayed in the shadows with her head down and a scarf to cover it.
As the train arrived, she watched as people stepped off and greeted their loved ones. Many hugs and kisses went around as the young and old said their “hellos”. A lot of smiles lightened the air as people walked by with their arms around each other. She was looking for a specific person to arrive and knew his appearance from a picture. He was young, like her, dark hair and eyes, and a lean build.
She approached him slowly and casually. He caught a glimpse of her deep green eyes and long, curly black hair under the scarf and smiled with pleasure. He could not help the grin that crossed his face as her hips swayed smoothly with her body, her eyes not straying from his. She stood in front of him with her face close to his.
“Have you come here to meet somebody?”
“Mmm, I have no one to meet.”
“Well, aren’t I lucky?” He said, grinning at the beautiful stranger.
He sniffed and smiled, “Your breath smells sweet, like nothing I’ve ever smelled before. It’s almost like...flowers,” he said when he had placed the scent.
She leaned closer, allowing him to smell it better.
“Ahh, it smells so good,” he said, throwing his head back and taking it in. “You’re so beautiful!”
She leaned in and kissed him, while sliding her hand in his pocket. Slowly, she pulled his wallet out and stuffed it in her dress. Pulling back, she looked him in the eye. He was mesmerized, his eyes locked onto hers.
“For my people,” she said softly.
His smile turned to confusion and before he had a chance to ask, the station began to spin and he was hit with a severe pain in his stomach. He doubled over and she watched him. He grabbed her arms in a feeble attempt to steady himself but he could not stand up. His head swam and he tried to look up at her for help. She continued to stand there and watch. He then choked on his own phlegm and held onto her arms as he fell to the ground, she bending down with him until he finally became still and fell back dead.
Marlena stood up and looked around. No one seemed to be nearby. Seeing it was clear, she took off for home.
When she entered the cave, her grandmother was waiting for her, sitting under a lantern that hung over her rocking chair. The wizened woman straightened up and her tired, wrinkled face brightened. Katarina approached upon hearing the commotion. Her eyes lit up with expectation.
“Did you get his wallet?”
“Yes. Right here,” she pulled it out and handed it to her grandmother, who took it hastily and opened it, rummaging through it. Katarina peered over her shoulder. Pulling out a driver’s license, she nodded her head.
“This will do.”
“What are you going to do with it?” Marlena asked.
“I’m going to send it to the poor man’s grandfather, Astor Boucher.”
“Is he still alive?”
“Yes, he is very old and feeble and cannot take care of himself anymore. I have located his address. Katarina, did you get me the postage?”
“Yes, Mama. I’ll get it,” she said as she moved further into the cave and opened a desk drawer. Retrieving a stamp and an envelope, she brought them to her mother, who placed the driver’s license and a note into the envelope and sealed it.
“Marlena, I need you to do one more thing tonight, while no one can see you and follow you back to us.”
“Yes, Mamaw,” she said as she had always been taught be obedient when it came to the family.
Her grandmother handed her the envelope and said, “Please take this to a letter box and come right back.”
“Make sure no one sees you.”
Marlena did as she was told and returned immediately to the cave, where the adults were still awake, even though it was late. She heard the music as she approached. Lanterns hung from the ceiling to give light to the clan, who were dancing to the musicians’ instruments. Others were clapping to the beat.
The children lie asleep, being accustomed to falling to sleep to music. In a corner toward the back, their pallets lined the wall of the cave.
When she walked in, the gypsies formed a circle around her, dancing with tambourines. She joined in the dance, arms high in the air and the feeling of freedom as she let the music fill her soul.
Astor Boucher received the envelope just days after he was informed of the death of his grandson. The cause of death was unknown and an autopsy was to be performed. The family anxiously awaited the results.
The old man sat in front of a window with a blanket over his lap to help keep him warm, although, blankets never seemed to help the chill he constantly felt. His gaunt face gazed at the lush five-acre grounds he had bought in his youth. His pale brown eyes had been empty since his grandson’s death. He had stationed himself in front of the window over the past couple of days, not moving or interacting with anyone, even when they tried to engage him.
He examined the front and back of the envelope and opened it with his large, freckled hands. The first thing he saw was the driver’s license, holding it curiously. A small piece of paper was behind it with two words on it in red, bold letters: VISHA KANYA.
Astor read the words aloud slowly, his voice trembling.
“What does it mean?”
His father did not answer right away. His hands shook as he stared at the words in horror.
“It is from the Gypsies!” he spit out with a shout, pounding his fist on his lap. “They got Tristan.”
“What gypsies? Why? Father, what is Visha Kanya?”
Astor closed his eyes as a sick feeling ran through his feeble body, causing him to shiver.
“It means ‘poison maiden’. It is a girl who is raised to be poisonous.”
“What do you mean?”
“In ancient times, people fed their baby girls small bits of poison until they became immune to these different types of poisons that were in their body but the girls were also poisonous. They could kill a man with just one kiss. One particular clan of Gypsies adopted this tradition.”
“But why would someone do this to him?”
“They want revenge. It is not you, son. It is me. The gypsies are getting back at me after all these years.”
“For what? What do you have to do with gypsies?”
Astor sighed and said, “Son, I have not been truthful with you as to how we came into our fortune.”
His son sat in a chair near his and stared at him, feeling the muscles in his arms and legs tighten. His face hardened and he said, “What did you do?”
“Son, you have to understand it was the war and I was a different person, then. There was a lot of fear and...”
“What did you do?” His son asked through gritted teeth, the anger rising in him.
Astor looked back at him with resignation in his eyes as they welled up with tears, “I’m sorry,” he whispered. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
“Just tell me why they killed my son!”
“I turned them in to the Germans.”
“The Gypsies were being taken to the gas chambers and I knew of this clan, so I did some digging and learned some things about them and I found the cave they were hiding in. I told this German soldier their location and gave him information on them in return for the promise that I would not be captured as long as I could work for them as a spy. I did many jobs for them during the war and earned our money for it."
“The Germans came in the night and carried off all of the Gypsies but I gave instructions for one to be spared, she and her family.”
“So, are you saying that you had these Gypsies killed?”
“I had to. I was on the way to greatness.”
“But you still sent them to their deaths when they hadn’t even done anything to you. That’s the same as murder,” his son said, standing and pacing the floor with his hand on his chin.
He tried to slow down his mind and take in all of the information that he had just heard. The thoughts were swimming in his head.
“Why spare this one family?”
“Because, “Astor looked upward, “I had been in a relationship with one of them. I had broken it off. If I wanted to get anywhere in the military, no one could know. When the Nazis came in, my reputation would have been ruined if they knew—I had to cover it up."
Just then, a servant entered the room with a serving cart. She said, “I thought you might like some tea.”
Both men took a cup sipping to relax themselves. Within a few seconds, Astor’s son fell to the floor, his mouth hung open. Both cups dropped to the floor and Astor’s mouth was hung open as well. They were both paralyzed from the head down.
“Don’t worry,” the servant said, “you’re not dying. You’re just paralyzed.”
She walked over to Astor and put her hands on his knees. She bent over and whispered in his ear, “I was sent to give you a message from my grandmother. You have a daughter, my mother.”
He could smell the scent of flowers on her breath. She stood up, looked at his face and said, “You didn’t know about her, did you?”
Astor could only stare as spittle formed in his mouth.
“She tried to approach you once, when she was young, but you turned her away, not even giving her time to tell you who she was.” She looked around the house as she pursed her lips. “You’ve had a nice life in this big house while my grandmother had to raise my mother on her own in a small cave.”
Astor tried to speak but the spit had begun to dribble down his chin.
“Yes, I know,” she rolled her eyes, “You worked hard to get where you are. You had to protect your name. Admit it; even if you had known about her, you still would have left her out in the cold.”
She bent over and whispered in his ear again, “She has one more message for you. ‘You should have let me die with my people instead of breaking my heart and making me watch them be dragged off as their shoes scuffed the ground and making me raise our beautiful daughter without you.’
She wants you to know what it’s like,” she said in his face.
The two men still watched her, unable to move a muscle. Marlena glided over to Astor’s son and bent over him. She heard small moans coming from Astor’s mouth and she stared at him. His eyes were wide with fear and pleading. She huffed at his helpless face and looked back at her victim. Holding her hair out of the way, she bent down to his face and kissed his lips. She pulled back slowly, waiting for the reaction. In a moment, he let out a curdling moan from severe stomach pain, trying to wince but unable to. He then began choking, trying to sit up but still unable. She looked on until he finally stopped. Then she stood and walked away from both of them. Halfway across the room she stopped and turned towards Astor.
“By the way; name is Katarina, if you care.”
Marlena made her way out of the house without looking back, against the frantic moans of Astor Boucher.
About the Author:
Holly Green is the author of “Prove Your Love”, available at IUniverse.com, and the Silver Quill Award winning short story “Family Secrets”. She is an avid blogger of religious articles, facts about Jack the Ripper, and general silliness at Without Ado on Word Press. When she is not writing she keeps up with cleaning her house, finding something for her thirteen-year-old to do when not chasing the guinea pigs around, and preparing to send her eighteen-year-old off to college (yikes).
Make sure to come back next week for more great fiction!
Make sure to come back next week for more great fiction!