HER POUND OF FLESH

A short story

Published by Mythic Delirium Books

She wore her mother’s bones to the ball.

“You’re getting fat,” hissed the bejeweled skull on her hip.

She hushed her mother. It wasn’t the best arrangement. She had wanted a demure gown, green as limes, not the pale jade silks that foamed over her legs. The electric blues of her kingfisher mask were appealing, true, but they lacked the gravity of a hawk’s cruel smirk. And the slippers? Banana-gold slippers left much to be desired for.

At least, it was striking.

A courtier minced up to the unusually tall guest, even as she stood mulling over the state of her apparel. Next to his dusky flesh, her colorless skin glowed like the blind fish at the bottom of the ocean. He smiled timorously. She frowned.

“Introducing—”

“Yeh-Shen,” said the recent arrival. “Princess Yeh-Shen of the Ochre Mountains.”

The official nodded. He wasn’t about to argue with the garland of finger bones around Yeh-Shen’s throat, or the death’s head mounted on her side. He turned to the crowd, which had long since transformed from a laughing, living thing to a shimmering tide of faces frozen mid-breath.

“Announcing Princess Yeh-Shen of the Ochre Mountains.”

The gathering said nothing, expressions caged behind a bestiary of glittering masks.

Read the full story at Mythic Delirium