Banquet By Daniel Finkel

February 25, 2016 Comments Off on Banquet By Daniel Finkel

That evening, Great-Uncle was outside, picking. Great-Aunt was in the garden, cutting, and I was in the cellar, talking.

Great-Uncle picked a falling star. He opened his basket and dropped it in, ripe as a celestial pomegranate, glowing like a spark of ice.

Great-Aunt carved a tree of glass, delineating every bright blossom and exotic bird. She stroked the wind across its bounteous, starry fruits, etching manifold mysteries into its smoking bark while tanning the flesh of the greedy serpents that were its roots. Then she shattered it. After gathering up the shards of flesh and smoke, she pieced them back together into burning suns; blowing leaves; and wriggling, bark-clasped serpents. Then, she shattered them again, built them again, broke them again . . . dropped them in a boiling pot, and stirred.

I was downstairs, talking to the devil.

Great-Uncle came down from the hill. Came down from the hill with a shining basket. Great-Uncle came down from the hill with a shining, bounteous basket of stars.

Great-Aunt came in from the garden, fingers dripping with fleshy paints, bearing a molten mirror of stars and serpents. They built a fire, set a table. Four plates. Four knives. Four cups of jig-sawed dust, and I invited Mephistopheles to dinner.

That night, we ate stars and drank glass. The devil said they were good, and we believed him.

© 2015 Daniel Finkel

Daniel Finkel is a writer from the Philadelphia area with a special interest in speculative fiction. He has published several short stories and poems, and serves as the fiction and copy editor of two local journals. He can usually be found at his desk, with a cup of hot chocolate, imagining himself hard at work.

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