The Shadow Maker was thin and tall. You could tell he enjoyed his work from the way he smiled. His smile could be wide, but it wasn’t a sly smile like other long smiles can be. It was the smile of someone suited to his work.
But today, he wasn’t smiling.
“Put this on, duckling,” he said. “Hold out your arms.”
The child folded his arms. “Hmm-mm!”
The Shadow Maker held the sweater open. “You know you won’t go anywhere if you don’t put it on.”
It’s a fact that you don’t see many mermen. I wonder if it isn’t because the merwomen keep them hard at work in the weeds under the sea. Of course merpeople are real. There isn’t any question about that.
Perhaps mermen are shy. Maybe they would rather be tending coral or scrubbing manatees than spying on ships. I think they must be smooth-cheeked—otherwise their hair would always be floating up in their faces—or else, they must be careful to tie their beards down. I know for a fact that one of them was clean-shaven, because I saw him.
She sat braiding her hair. In the morning light the strands shone rusty brown. The young woman’s agile fingers weaved in and around each other, but her mind was elsewhere. She remembered gathering chestnuts last fall, and the man who had offered to buy her basket.
“But, my lord! This is gold.”
“I am no one’s lord,” said the man. “And the real gold is what you carry.”
The Artist Who Didn’t Like Silhouettes (166 Words)
It was a shame, because she specialized in them. She knew how to find that symmetry, that poise, that would bring out the art in any figure. But she told me one time when I was with her in her studio, that she didn’t like them. At the time she was working on the silhouette of a bird poised on a winter branch, a jagged, India-ink blackness over gray Bristol.
“But why not?” I said. “They’re wonderful.”
“Well,” she said. “I’ve been thinking. You know what they say about looking at things in black and white.”
For today’s Daily Prompt, “Entertain,” Wallie and I offer another snippet from a work-in-progress–a story in which a little girl is helped solving a crime by the ghost of a detective. The ghost is summoned to help her when Maddie plays a harp she found in the attic room. This is a scene in which he explains the harp to her.
A Harp and a Ghost
‘Do you want to know the story of my harp?’ he asked.
I couldn’t care less. But it was his delicate asking, and the way he pulled the chair to my bedside, that interested me.
“It was during a case,” said Mr. Ingham. “I was murdered. Death is fearful enough on its own, but I’ll tell you what made it worse was my wife. She sat at the bedside long after the doctors had given me over and held my hands and warmed them, never asking if she could ease me for she knew she couldn’t. We said our words, we two, and it made me cry to see her there and feel so poorly. I didn’t want to leave her. But she kissed me like a parent would see, like this”—he kissed his hand and put it to his forehead—”and told me it would come out right. I was dying, but I’ll tell you the way she said that put a chill in me like living again.”
I raised my head from the pillow. “Did she save you?”