My Reading of “The Wee Memoirs of a Victorian Mourning Doll”

I’m linking this wee audio-tale to Sanaa’s Prompt Nights: Sûrement vous plaisantez – Surely you jest (which might explain why so many people think that I’m not funny… just a tad creepy). 😀

Friends are a delicious blessing. No, my Wicked Luvs, I’m not advising you to go and devour all your friends. I’m just saying that good friends are the best at the gentle art of nudging us towards doing things we were not planning to do. And sometimes, that can be a wonderful thing. Other times, you can go to jail. But that’s a different post…

Earlier today, a good friend of mine said, “All I want for my birthday is a recording of you reading some of my favorites of your poems, nothing else.” When I offered to leave the poems on her phone, as a voicemail, she said that she wanted an MP3.

It’s her birthday. I can’t gently kick her in the teeth, and shout, “Stop being such a brat!” Instead, I called Rommy and begged for help—I had never used any of my computer’s voice recording software… Besides, Rommy is a great reader… I am not… so I was hoping some of her greatness would rub off on me. If you haven’t had the pleasure of hearing Rommy’s reading voice, stop by her blog and listen to “Fangs, Sheathed”. Delicious!

After I finished recording my friend’s birthday present, I went ahead and read “The Wee Memoirs of a Victorian Mourning Doll” to share with you:

– inspired by Long Gone Dolls’ delightfully creepy “Victorian Mourning Dolls”
– read the text HERE

I am adding the original image (I dislike that it gets cut off in the audio preview)
Victorian Mourning Dolls, by Long Gone Dolls

13 Kisses in the Dark

She thought it impossible to love anyone more than she loved her magic. Then he said, I’m yours—and meant it—and impossible was nevermore.

“I let them take you. I knew, and I still let them.” The dirt that had sucked her lover’s screams felt cold against her wet cheek. “I wish I could change it. I would give everything I am for a chance—” The idea hit her so abruptly that it was as if it had been born in someone else’s head.

Fueled by desperate hope, she took the shape of a white hare and ran to the Crafter’s cottage.

“It’s not wise to walk these woods in your fur,” the Crafter said, without looking away from the parchment he was working on. “They’ve been felling trees and turning stones looking for you.”

Crossing the Crafter’s threshold and resuming her human shape, she said, “Can you write my husband out of wherever they’re imprisoning him?”

“I can write anyone anywhere, my girl. But—”

“I’m with child. I know they’re keeping my husband alive to use his magic to rip our babe out of my wound as soon as she’s big enough to breathe on her own… That’s in three nights.”

“They will track you, my girl.”

“Not if you write us into a story your masters will never read.”

The Crafter put down his quill. “Crafting a story world takes weeks.”

“What about that one?” She pointed at the scribbling-covered parchment in front of the Crafter.

He shook his head. “This is a place for punishment, a place where… they hurt people like us.”

“My husband and I will shield our child. We’ll do anything for her. That’s what parents are supposed to do. But I was wrong to expect—”

“They will burn you alive, in this story world,” the Crafter yelled, hurling his quill against a wall.

“We can hide,” she said. “You became slave to people you despise, so those you love could live. My husband and I would give up our magic to protect our child.” She put a hand on his shaking shoulder. “No story world can be too terrible, if we get to be together and alive, Father.”

“They will force me to tell them where I wrote you,” he said.

“I’ll drink your memory of me,” she said, placing a dusty tin cup on the table.

By the sounds of quill and kettle, the Witch brewed a forget-me tea, and the Crafter wrote his daughter and her family into a story world where the wrongs of magic were made right by fire.

She poured the tea in the cup. He handed her the parchment with the words she would need to escape their world. His face was warm and wet with tears, when she put her hands on his cheeks and began to chant:

Thirteen kisses in the dark,
they’ll taste of moon full
and of sun-bright;
thirteen touches of my lips,
they’ll make me yours
and keep you mine.

Thirteen kisses in the dark,
they’ll bring oblivion
and memory seep;
thirteen touches of my lips,
in your mind I’ll be nothing
after this sleep.

He slumped forward the thirteenth time she kissed his temple, sipping his last memory of her. Gently, she laid his head down on the table and watched him through blurry eyes until each line of his face was branded in her heart.

They had agreed to leave the empty cup on the table and some forget-me tea in the kettle. His masters would find him spelled, and realize he didn’t remember her. And they would never hurt him; not when he was the only living Crafter, and the other one was unborn and lost to them.

Inspired by “13 Kisses”, winner of From Blackout Poem Bit to Flash Fiction or Full-Length Poetry, 3; and linked to Vanessa Valencia’s Witches Tea Party. Fly over to A Fanciful Twist and see what everyone else is brewing. Oh, and beware of tin tea cups… you know, just in case.

Tin Tea Cup, from Analogue Lifevia