PodCastle 233: Study, For Solo Piano

by Genevieve Valentine

Read by Laurice White

Originally published in Fantasy Magazine. Read it here! (Fantasy Magazine’s podcast is at the same place.)

The Circus waits in leaking trailers while Boss takes her lieutenants through the house.

Then, her lieutenants are Elena from the trapeze, and Panadrome the music man, who presses his accordion bellows tight to his side to keep it from sharp edges, and Alec, their final act, who folds his gleaming wings tight against his back so he can fit through the hole in the wall.

Inside, the ceiling is waterlogged and sagging, but when Alec opens his wings even the nails sing for him.

Alec laughs, and the birds in the rafters scatter as if he’s called them down.

(Alec will be dead in a year; these are the last birds he sees.)

Rated PG.