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SCARBOROUGH FAIR is currently hosting a Flash Fiction and Poetry Contest open to all University of Toronto Students. The strongest pieces will be selected by a panel of judges and be published by Scarborough Fair.

The contest deadline is October 31st 2015 at 11:59 PM.     

CLICK HERE for complete submission details.

           

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Prose

Tiger Lillies

Kevin Connery

Victoria Loder


We were making love beneath the moon when I turned to him and said, “I used to be a writer.” He smiled wanly at me, thick teeth set beneath thin lips. I watched his chest tremble with the quiver of laughter, but heard no sound. 

    “What?” I asked. The grass between our bodies was dewy and cold.

    “What does that mean, anyway? Used to be. How do you cease to be?”

    I turned away from him and looked out across the stars, just as a comet grazed the tip of an iridescent cloud. The moon was the same colour as the underside of my wrists, and suddenly a breeze blew cold across my marble skin. 

    I didn’t want to lie there anymore. I stood up and stretched my legs across the grass, feeling the blades slice between my toes. 

    I stood at the edge and looked out at the world. 

    “Nobody believes in me anymore.” The words formed hollowly on my lips. The sound of the wind blowing across an open marsh almost drowned out my voice. It was nothing to the people below, the ones I gazed out upon. They may turn their heads to the breeze and say, “My, wasn’t that a strong wind.” They wouldn’t know that it was the very breath from my lungs, my wish that they would believe in me again. 

    “They used to worship me,” I whispered, “once, a long time ago. Now I am nothing to them.”

    I heard him sigh behind me and the grass rustled beneath his frame. The steps approached me from behind, and then firm, strong hands suddenly caressing my bare waist. One day this would have been enough to bring me to my knees, but no longer. I felt a mere tingle at his touch, but there was little desire in it. I longed to be loved by the world, not by a single being. When the people of the world made love to each other, I wanted to be one with them, to feel what they felt, but they didn’t want me there anymore.

    Warm lips on the skin of my shoulder, tracing the cold veins beneath my skin up to my neck. The soft spot below my right ear. I closed my eyes and felt my body shudder. He believed it was a tremble, and gripped my forearms earnestly. 

    “I wrote histories,” I told him. “Thousands of them. They used to think of me whenever they loved, and made love. I was feared because of my beauty, because of the power I had over mere men.” I turned to him, and stared hard into his eyes. “I would have them all grovelling at my feet with a single turn of my head, a single shift of my hips.”

    But there was only one that I truly wanted, and could never have. 

    “Let me have you again,” he growled. He could not see, but my eyes brimmed with tears. Looking out on the Earth, he could not know that the one I longed for could no longer be had. Taken from me by the weight of the world, crushed by the sheer size of it, and without anyone to bear his pain. I watched his form shudder beneath the world as he shifted it slightly onto his other shoulder.  Even I was too cowardly, and my sentence was to be with one that I hated. 

    He took up my hand and began to pull me back onto the grass. I rolled onto my back with my eyes still on his figure, a single tear falling onto my face. He entered me and growled my name into my ear.

    “Aphrodite.”

    I closed my eyes and allowed myself to feel the love of those on the land that he held, the love that was so near to him. I gave myself up to those feelings, felt the pleasure of those who had truly loved and lost and were giving way to unashamed bliss. I wanted it if only to pretend I was closer to him.

    I moaned, and the sound could be heard across the galaxies.