I’m so happy to announce that Medulla Review is alive and kicking again! They used to have whole issues but now have gone for a more come-and-get-it chow time approach. I missed them while they were gone and I’m so glad they’re back and that I have a story up right now. Be sure to check out the poetry and photography too. Really great stuff. Writer friends, send them some work.
The story is called Marble Soul and truth be told it took me a little while to find a home for this one so I’m doubly excited about the news. It’s about a young girl in an oppressive society who sells parts of her soul at the Night Market in exchange for a certain… ahem…. type of sensation.
Here’s how it begins:
“I hope it was worth it,” the Vicar of Oxley said but Azra didn’t look up. If she had, in his eyes would be all that righteous fire, all her guilt. Instead, she strapped on bravery, masked the truth, and held as still as possible.
“You used a lifetime of Purity. A lifetime Azra, before your true Bedding. And if that weren’t bad enough,” he reached into the drawer in front of him, “this is all that’s left of your Soul.” It clicked when he placed it on the desk and rumbled as it rolled towards her. She caught it just before it went off the edge. Azra flinched expecting it to be hot as if it would burn with her own transgressions but it was smooth and cool to the touch. It was smaller now, no bigger than a marble, but it still shone a sun dappled sort of gold as it had the day it was given to her, not long after her Acceptance. It was strange to hold it again, in her palm, as strange as it would be to hold your own laughter or heartache. It fluttered against her skin, seemingly searching for a way back inside.
Uhm, not to be disrespectful but I actually think the story would have been better if you took the reader through all the things the young girl did, until she was ‘arrested’ & then had the scene with the Vicar, and then everything else afterward, instead of just telling us about it. I know it’s basic literary criticism but there seems to be a lot of telling the reader instead of showing the reader. I don’t know, maybe I’m just being cranky …
Actually, it’s pretty good the way it is. It picked up for me nearer the end, with the Night Market stuff.
No apology necessary. Thanks for your thoughts Tony. I guess the reason I chose to do the re-telling, which I understand is not a common narrative choice, is because I wanted it to be questionable whether she actually did the things she remembered or just just bought the memories from the old woman.
That said, I appreciate you reading and taking the time to tell me what you thought.