Heart-shaped Candle

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Object No. 3 of 5: Epistolary Week

[The auction for this Significant Object, with story by Terese Svoboda, has ended. Original price: $1. Final price: $42. This is part of a series of five epistolary stories guest-curated by Ben Greenman. Proceeds from this auction will go to One Story.]

Dear Wicked One:

As in “wick,” your sat-upon heart suggests so much to all of us on this Planet Nolove, pronounced to rhyme with olive, which whirs toward our sun at an alarming rate reminiscent of sperm lash. We lack heat and your visage, so pinkly coy, so silvered as if off a chalice, so bent-buttocked in the curve, your heat if lit — though miniscule it appears — would be just enough to energize our zip so we could snap our airlocks tight to the sun at last and sigh and smoke the way actors in your features express their heat thus slaked. But such a suggestion is not appropriate from the female side of Nolove, the side inopportunely pivoted toward the sun for the last nth, so we realize, keening, nothing at all can come of the electron flashing, wick-kissing heat you promise. We mourn for another nth then we get on our exercise drums and lean so far into the cosmos that a revolution (manned and unmanned) occurs, and Nolove rocks. That is, the male side cheers. Gaining on the pointer side, they forget all too quick who did the leaning, who kept to the drums when nobody had even a pull-cord. We’re the ones who find old sticks floating in the no-air and rub them slowly, oh so slowly, ourselves in ricochet, until a spark appears — the elements after all that time (we have it, time, on loan sometimes) seep in if you wait, some of the more idle elements, the ones with only one electron available. With that spark so carefully husbanded by ourselves across so many thrillions of pixels, we trusted your sensual self to rise up on those silvered haunches of yours and receive and burn. Yet never have you so much as leaned, you who must know that leaning is how it’s done in the cosmos by our kind, leaning into the spark? Wick-ed yourself then — our sun is not yours, we call it Love, and you obviously care nothing for Nolove and its potential — still — to collide and produce endless synergy that would so far outRabbit your whole system that you wouldn’t exist after that, for system is all you have, you bitch, probably consoled and iPudded and wii-ed up the wazoo, but we have the — someone hold them up — pull-cords. It isn’t another little galaxy we’re wanting, believe me, you little wick.


The winner of this auction also receives Terese Svoboda's story, mailed by the author.


Pirate Talk or Mermalade, Terese Svoboda's sixth novel, will be published by Dzanc Press this fall.

3 thoughts on “Heart-shaped Candle

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