by K. A. Teryna translated by Anatoly Belilovsky
read by Tina Connolly
On Friday Madame Félidé bought all the smiles the local merchants had for sale. Merry and sad, shy and modest, childlike and old, tender, happy, polite, ugly, warm, soft, villainous, ironic, open, timid, grudging, obsequious — every single one. Shopkeepers dug through their deepest cellars to find silly grins that rarely sold and usually gathered dust amid bits of obsolete gossip and jokes peeled off the floor after they had fallen flat. She emptied the display cases of fleeting smiles and gullible smiles and especially made sure to acquire every single sincere smile in the entire town. She also bought two ounces of contagious laughter and half a pound of good cheer. For change, the sales clerk gave her a tulle sachet full of pointed double entendres.
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This is this story’s first English publication. Click here to find the original story in Russian.
K. A. Teryna is an author, screenwriter, and illustrator. Since her first publication in 2008, she has won multiple awards and had a number of her stories published in Russian Sci-Fi magazines ESLI, MIR FANTASTIKI, and other Russian publications. She lives in Moscow.
This story was written for a contest, and was based on an original painting by Yekaterina Yeliseeva.
Anatoly Belilovsky is has had over 40 original and translated stories published in English since 2011. He is a member of SFWA and Codex Writers, and has been translated into Russian, Chinese, and Spanish.
Tina Connolly is the author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor, and the Seriously Wicked series from Tor Teen. Her novels have been finalists for the Nebula and the Norton. Her first collection, On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories, is releasing August 2016 from Fairwood Press. She is one of the co-hosts of Escape Pod, and her narrations have appeared on all 4 Escape Artists podcasts, as well as Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and her Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake. Find her at tinaconnolly.com.