To 2015 - 2016
Glass Serenade

By Svetha Pulavarty

  1. Untitled
    By Dale Karem, 12
From a certain angle, the diamonds around her neck looked more like broken glass than anything else.
“Madame,” the butler would say, extending a white-gloved hand towards her, “It would be my honor.” And his eyes would fasten onto her diamonds, layered in rings around her neck, dangling to her chest. Broken glass. If he wasn’t careful, he could cut himself on those diamonds. They glittered in the light and splayed across her red dress, inciting lust and greed in whoever saw them.
Red lips, to match her dress. They parted, and the lady’s smile was patronizing. When he looked at that smile, at those perfect white teeth, he saw pearls. She took his hand, and he helped her out of the carriage.
She would wear rubies, sometimes, among the diamonds. They matched her dress, she said, and she would twirl for him, the fabric rippling with the movement. It floated above her red stilettos, above her slender ankles. The diamonds shimmered. They dazzled. They burned. The lady looked like an ember, then, bright and glowing.
Madame, it would be my
It rained one night, and she clutched, shivering, at his arm. The diamonds pressed against his sleeve. They looked deliriously tempting. Wet hair clung to her face. Droplets of water clung to her eyelashes, clung to her hair, clung to her dress. “Julien,” she said, voice laced with silver and gold. “Wasn't it fun? Wasn't it worth it?"
He looked at her gemstones, wide-eyed. "Yes," he said, sounding hoarse and dazed. "It was."
When she smiled, it wasn’t patronizing.
They flowed through the streets, him in his black boots and her in her red stilettos, floating in and out of cafés and corner shops, crêpes and croissants and chocolat chaud. He found an umbrella patterned with flowers, and they ducked under it, wet and cold and hysterical. The lady placed a chocolate in his mouth, and it melted slowly onto his tongue.
She looked ethereal, then. Something transcendent and alien and powerful, more gemstone than human. 
Madame, it would be
Someone had turned her window into a masterpiece of cracks and shatters during the night, fractures spiderwebbing into the window frame. A knife clung tenaciously to the center of the glass. It had been driven into the windowpane. Miraculously, the glass stayed in place for a day or two before the pieces cascaded onto the carpet and into the heaps of amethyst pillows.
Diamonds lay scattered on the floor, among the glass. Intermittently, a ruby appeared. The lady sat in the center of the chaos, serene and evanescent. She ran a hand over the glass and the diamonds and the rubies. Nothing had been stolen. The lady looked up, and Julien was there. 
Madame, it would
She looked more human than gemstone when she slept. The lady would curl into herself, and the red crumples of her nightgown would flutter with every breath she took. Dark shadows against the fabric extended like veins against her skin.
Eyes like sapphires. They opened to emptiness. The butler had disappeared sometime during the night. The glass had also disappeared along with the diamonds and rubies that had lain scattered among the broken pieces. No one knew where they went.
Madame, it
The lady’s new rubies hung in rings around her neck, dangling to her chest. Sapphires in her hair. They matched her eyes. The lady smiled patronizingly before twirling slowly in her red stilettos. The rubies twinkled gently, unable to do anything else. 
She looked earthly, then. Human and powerless and ordinary.
If he wasn’t careful, he could cut himself on that glass.