Maddie’s father warns her about the poison in the tip. If it pricks you, you sleep forever.
It’s just a fairy tale; he hopes to scare her away from playing with his antique record player and—knowing her—breaking it. Replacement needles for his precious phonograph are so hard to come by. He only has the one.
He’s never stood by the door to her room as she falls asleep. If he did, he’d see her arrange her hair across her pillow and whisper, “I wish, I wish to never wake again.”
In her dreams, she feels them: the strangers from far and wide who’ve come. They gaze longingly upon her still hands, silent lips, angelic face.
Watching her father’s rough hand as he re-positions the needle, it dawns on Maddie: the older things grow, the more dangerous they become. But now he’s given her the power to freeze time.
Maddie listens to his hums fade up the stairs. She lifts the ornate cover and reaches inside. Just one prick and her dad will miss her.
Angeline Schellenberg is the author of the Manitoba Book Award-winning Tell Them It Was Mozart (Brick, 2016) and the KOBZAR Book Award-nominated Fields of Light and Stone (UAP, 2020). Her fiction recently won Exposition Review’s Flash 405 Contest. She hosts the Speaking Crow poetry open mic in Winnipeg, Canada.
Here are more links to the work of Angeline Schellenberg;
Tell Them It Was Mozart: https://www.brickbooks.ca/shop/tell-them-it-was-mozart-by-angeline-schellenberg/
Fields of Light and Stone: https://uap.ualberta.ca/titles/974-9781772125115-fields-of-light-and-stone
Speaking Crow: https://www.facebook.com/SpeakingCrow
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