Celia, wait,” Marco says, standing but not moving closer to her. “You are breaking my heart. You told me once that I reminded you of your father. That you never wanted to suffer the way your mother did for him, but you are doing exactly that to me. You keep leaving me. You leave me longing for you again and again when I would give anything for you to stay, and it is killing me.” “It has to kill one of us,” Celia says quietly.
You will be fine,' the fortune teller says. 'There may be decisions to make and surprises in store. Life takes us to unexpected places sometimes. The future is never set in stone, remember that.
You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.
I have tried to let you go and I cannot. I cannot stop thinking of you. I cannot stop dreaming about you.
Only the ship is made of books, its sails thousands of overlapping pages, and the sea it floats upon is dark black ink.
She turns her head, Bailey catches her eye, and she smiles at him. Not in the way that one smiles at a random member of the audience when one is in the middle of performing circus tricks with unusually talented kittens but in the way that one smiles when one recognizes someone they have not seen in some time.
Follow your dreams Bailey. Be they Harvard or somehing else entirely. No matter what that father of yours says, or how loudly he might say it. He forgets that he was someone's dream once, himself
I have spent a great deal of my life struggling to keep myself in control. To know myself inside and out, everything In perfect order. I lose that when I'm with you. That frightens me, and it frightens me how much I like it. How tempting it is to lose myself in you. To let it go. To let you save me from breaking chandeliers rather than constantly worrying about it, myself.
You believe you could not live with the pain. Such pain is not lived with. It is only endured. I am sorry.
This is, in part, why there is less magic in the world today. Magic is secret and secrets are magic, after all, and years upon years of teaching and sharing magic and worse. Writing it down in fancy books that get all dusty with age has lessened it, removed its power bit by bit.
they start in the ice garden, through the twins grow impatient with leisurely pace that celia prefers to take around the frozen trees. before they have traveled halfway through the space they are begging to ride the carousel instead.
Prospero the Enchanter's immediate reaction upon meeting his daughter is a simple declaration of: Well, fuck.
My train was late that day. the day I saw you drop your notebook. Had it been on schedule we never would have met. Maybe we were never meant to.
Someone needs to tell those tales. When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There's magic in that. It's in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift. Your sister may be able to see the future, but you yourself can shape it, boy. Do not forget that... there are many kinds of magic, after all.
There is the softest of sobbing as the coffin is lowered into the ground, but it is difficult to pinpoint who it is coming from, or if it is instead a collective sound of mingled sighs and wind and shifting feet.
Memories begin to creep forward from hidden corners of your mind. Passing disappointments. Lost chances and lost causes. Heartbreaks and pain and desolate, horrible loneliness. Sorrows you thought long forgotten mingle with still-fresh wounds.
They seek each other out, these people of such specific like mind. They tell of how they found the circus, how those first few steps were like magic.
The finished clock is resplendent. At first glance it is simply a clock, a rather large black clock with a white face and a silver pendulum. Well crafted, obviously, with intricately carved woodwork edges and a perfectly painted face, but just a clock.But that is before it is wound. Before it begins to tick, the pendulum swinging steadily and evenly. Then, then it becomes something else.The changes are slow. First, the color changes in the face, shifts from white to grey, and then there are clouds that float across it, disappearing when they reach the opposite side. Meanwhile, bits of the body of the clock expand and contract, like pieces of a puzzle. As though the clock is falling apart, slowly and gracefully.All of this takes hours.The face of the clock becomes a darker grey, and then black, with twinkling stars where numbers had been previously. The body of the clock, which has been methodically turning itself inside out and expanding, is now entirely subtle shades of white and grey. And it is not just pieces, it is figures and objects, perfectly carved flowers and planets and tiny books with actual paper pages that turn. There is a silver dragon that curls around part of the now visible clockwork, a tiny princess in a carved tower who paces in distress, awaiting an absent prince. Teapots that pour into teacups and minuscule curls of steam that rise from them as the seconds tick. Wrapped presents open. Small cats chase small dogs. An entire game of chess is played.At the center, where a cuckoo bird would live in a more traditional timepiece, is the juggler. Dress in harlequin style with a grey mask, he juggles shiny silver balls that correspond to each hour. As the clock chimes, another ball joins the rest until at midnight he juggles twelve balls in a complex pattern.After midnight, the clock begins once more to fold in upon itself. The face lightens and the cloud returns. The number of juggled balls decreases until the juggler himself vanishes.By noon it is a clock again, and no longer a dream.
He goes directly to the ballroom, making his way to the center of the dance floor. He takes Celia’s arm, spinning her away from Herr Thiessen.Marco pulls her to him in an emerald embrace, so close that no one distinction remains between where his suite ends and her gown begins. To Celia there is suddenly no one else in the room as he holds her in his arms. But before she can vocalize her surprise, his lips close over hers and she is lost in wordless bliss. Marco kisses her as though they are the only two people in the world. The air swirls in a tempest around them, blowing open the glass doors to the garden with a tangle of billowing curtains. Every eye in the ballroom turns in their direction. And then he releases her and walks away. By the time Marco leaves the room, almost everyone has forgotten the incident entirely. It is replaced by a momentary confusion that is blamed on the heat or the excessive amounts of champagne. Herr Thiessen cannot recall why Celia has suddenly stopped dancing, or when her gown has shifted to its current deep green. “Is something wrong?” he asks, when he realizes that she is trembling.
That's the beauty of it. Have you seen the contraptions these magicians build to accomplish the most mundane feats? They are a bunch of fish covered in feathers trying to convince the public they can fly, I am simply a bird in their midst.
This womens skin is shimmering and pale, her long black hair is tied with dozens of silver ribbons that fall over her shoulders. Her gown is white, covered in what to Bailey looks like looping black embroidery, but as he walks closer he sees that the black marks are actually words written across the fabric. When he is near enough to read parts of the gown, he realizes that they are love letters, inscribed in handwritten text. Words of desire and longing wrapping around her waist, flowing down the train of her gown as it spills over the platform. The statue herself is still, but her hand is held out and only then does Bailey notice the young woman with a red scarf standing in front of her, offering the love letter-clad statue a sungle crimson rose.The movement is so subtle that it is almost undetectable, but slowly, very, very slowly, the statue reaches to accept the rose.Her fingers open, and the young woman with the rose waits patiently as the statue gradually closes her hand around the stem, releasing it only when it is secure.....The statue is lifting the rose, gradually, to her face. Her eye lids slowly close.
Look around you, he says, waving a hand at the surrounding tables. Not a one of them even has an inkling of the things that are possible in this world, and what's worse is that none of them would listen if you attempted to enlighten them. They want to believe that magic is nothing but clever deception, because to think it real would keep them up at night, afraid of their own existence.
Have you tried the cinnamon things? Poppet asks. They're rather new. What are they called, Widge?Fantastically delicious cinnamon things?
Stories have changed, my dear boy,” the man in the grey suit says, his voice almost imperceptibly sad. “There are no more battles between good and evil, no monsters to slay, no maidens in need of rescue. Most maidens are perfectly capable of rescuing themselves in my experience, at least the ones worth something, in any case. There are no longer simple tales with quests and beasts and happy endings. The quests lack clarity of goal or path. The beasts take different forms and are difficult to recognize for what they are. And there are never really endings, happy or otherwise. Things keep overlapping and blur, your story is part of your sister’s story is part of many other stories, and there in no telling where any of them may lead. Good and evil are a great deal more complex than a princess and a dragon, or a wolf and a scarlet-clad little girl. And is not the dragon the hero of his own story? Is not the wolf simply acting as a wolf should act? Though perhaps it is a singular wolf who goes to such lengths as to dress as a grandmother to toy with its prey.
There's magic in that. It's in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.
Taking his time, as though he has all of it in the world, in the universe, from the days when tales meant more than they do now, but perhaps less than they will someday, he draws a breath that releases the tangled knot of words in his heart, and they fall from his lips effortlessly.The circus arrives without warning.
Bedtime storiesEventide RhapsodiesAnthologies of MemoryPlease enter cautiously and feel free to open what is closed
Old stories have a habit of being told and retold and changed. Each subsequent storyteller puts his or her mark upon it. Whatever truth the story once had is buried in bias and embellishment. The reasons do not matter as much as the story itself.
Good and evil are a great deal more complex than a princess and a dragon, or a wolf and a scarlet-clad little girl. And is not the dragon the hero of his own story?
And there are never really endings, happy or otherwise. Things keep going on, they overlap and blur, your story is part of your sister's story is part of many other stories, and there is no telling where any of them may lead.
I have had affairs that lasted decades and others that lasted for hours. I have loved princesses and peasants. And I suppose they loved me, each in their way.
He reads histories and mythologies and fairy tales, wondering why it seems that only girls are ever swept away from their mundane lives on farms by knights or princes or wolves. It strikes him as unfair to not have the same fanciful opportunity himself. And he is not in the position to do any rescuing of his own.During the hours spent watching the sheep as they wander aimlessly around their fields, he even wishes that someone would come and take him away, but wishes on sheep appear to work to better than wishes on stars.