JD Scott

JD Scott - Avatars

JD Scott is the author of two chapbooks, Night Errands (YellowJacket Press, 2012) and Funerals & Thrones (Birds of Lace Press, 2013). Recent and forthcoming publications include Best American… Read more »
Siân Griffiths
Clockwork Girl at the Opera

Siân Griffiths - Clockwork Girl at the Opera

Siân Griffiths lives in Ogden, Utah, where she directs the Creative Writing Program at Weber State University. Her work has appeared in the Georgia Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Quarterly West,… Read more »
J. Eric McNeil
Perfect Horses

J. Eric McNeil - Perfect Horses

J. Eric McNeil is a former English teacher, student publications advisor, and fiction editor and designer of the literary magazine turnrow. He received his doctorate in creative writing from the… Read more »
Heather Dewar

Heather Dewar - Spring

Heather Dewar is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in the Bellevue Literary Review, New South, Blue Lyra Review, The Dirty Napkin, Utne, The Common Review, and the Chicago Reader among… Read more »
Joseph Rakowski
The Animals We Go to War With

Joseph Rakowski - The Animals We Go to War With

Joseph Rakowski received his bachelor’s degree in criminology from Florida State University and is pursuing his MFA in fiction at the University of San Francisco. His literary work is forthcoming in… Read more »
Tad Bartlett
The Memory Gardener

Tad Bartlett - The Memory Gardener

Tad Bartlett was born in Ankara, Turkey; grew up in Selma, Alabama; and married into New Orleans. His fiction has been published by Novella-T, Carolina Quarterly, Bird’s Thumb, The Stockholm Review… Read more »
Curtis Smith

Curtis Smith - Yes

Curtis Smith has published over one hundred stories and essays. His latest books are Beasts and Men (stories, Press 53), Communion (essays, Dock Street Press), and Kurt Vonnegut’s… Read more »

Clockwork Girl at the Opera

Siân Griffiths

Like many clockwork girls, I pass best clad in lace. I veil my head, shawl my shoulders. Though dogs sniff me out in a moment, people seldom notice my clicking. Men are easiest to fool. Let your laces slip, and you are as good as real—or so Charles suggests as he fingers my tucker. Within the cabriolet, the clattering hooves echo harshly as we hie ourselves Haymarket. The cob on the cobbles. Charles’s lips on my neck are soft as dove’s wings. I dislike their flapping. The driver pulls us to a stop. “Come, pet,” he murmurs, “we must make our entrance.”

Oh, the opera, that mechanism designed to provoke emotion. Charles adores a contralto. Tonight, we are bound for La Cenerentola. I wish he would take Diana, but, he says, it does no good at all for a man to be seen with his own wife. She sleeps later these days, cries more often, grows fat. He can less and less stand the sight of her. She has not forgiven him for Peggy, her lady’s maid, the most trusted servant in the house, now ruined and dismissed.

The clockwork clicks, the snag and spring of the metal arms. We… Read more »