Stories by Mail, Day 42 – The blue goddesses will see you now

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When she hears the overhead bell announce your entrance, the shopkeeper looks up from her crochet and gifts you with the most welcoming smile you’ve received in recent memory. Her rumpled white jacket more closely resembles a lab coat than an artist’s smock, and her wavy chocolate curls swim in all directions, as if Medusa’s snakes were friendly and wanted to invite you in for a cookie. “Welcome to the Nena Sanchez Gallery,” she says in a Dutch Caribbean-tinged accent. “I am the current Nena, and I specialize in grandmother services and color consulting.”

She gestures to her right, where you notice several other women. Their appearance is remarkably similar to Nena’s, but they range in age from twenty to sixty. “Every Nena has her own artistic and personal area of expertise. Are you interested in something specific today?”

“I don’t…what?”, you sputter, eyes darting from one Nena to the next. “But your sign says–”

“It is a common misunderstanding.” She chuckles. “My paintings are visible throughout the world. They do not require another gallery. Please, sit! Perhaps you would enjoy a cup of tea?  Our excellent life coaching and mural painting courses are twenty percent off today.”

With pride, she hands you a price list and heats the kettle.

 


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Stories by Mail, Day 28 – Tro shùilean eile

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There you are,” Tracy said brightly, a touch of relief swimming in her voice. The small backpack she’d recently adopted as a purse swung gently as she moved towards her husband. “I thought you were behind me, but I reached the Morier exhibit, and–”

“I was. I’m sorry,” Curtis mumbled, still gaping at the scene before him, frozen for eternity: a noble in full regalia, likely a Highlander, stood triumphantly on two rocks, his white-gloved hand outstretched as if to claim all the lands that lay before him. The other hand grasped a short spear, not lengthy enough to be a pike. The noble’s cape billowed behind him like a plaid windsock, clamped in place by golden latches. An ornamental sash bisected the man’s torso, announcing his wealth and influence as clearly as if he’d boasted out loud. He wore a leather sporran tied around his waist, a high-feathered cap with plumage half the length of his arm, and a gleaming scabbard attached to his right thigh.

This man oozed destiny and purpose.

Curtis heard Tracy repeat his name. As he turned, he tried to vain to recall the last thing she’d said.


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Stories by Mail, Day 23 – Clarity from a stone

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The Thinker refocused, but the befuddlement brewing in his mind only thickened.

The act of thinking had awarded him international fame and kept him perpetually occupied, but after so much practice, he’d become rather adept at reaching conclusions–at least when the questions centered around himself. He knew, for instance, that a chisel and a block of stone comprised his entire ancestry. He’d deduced his name. He was aware that other, nearly-identical Thinkers were scattered throughout the globe.

What the Thinker failed to solve, though, was the question of how the girl currently hoisting herself into his base could hear his every thought. She lifted her eyes to meet his, her tiny features awash with confusion and wonder.


UPDATE: @UnmagicalMe points out that “The Thinker” is a bronze casting, not stone. Someone will be receiving an alternative facts postcard.

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