Study, For Solo Piano
by Genevieve Valentine
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.)
About the Author
Genevieve Valentine is a novelist (her most recent is near-future political thriller ICON) and comic book writer, including Catwoman for DC Comics. Her short fiction has appeared in over a dozen Year’s Best collections; her nonfiction has appeared at the AV Club, NPR.org, The Atlantic, and the New York Times.
About the Narrator
Laurice White is a recent theater graduate and long time theater student, and has read stories for Podcastle, Pseudopod, and most recently for John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey on The End is Nigh and The End is Now, the first two volumes of The Apocalypse Triptych.