Believing in her

Arte smacked Monde with the umbrella once, twice, only stopping when Monde spluttered out a surrender. However, Arte immediately smacked her again when Monde giggled, “You have to admit, you’re cute when you trip.”

If her face hadn’t turned red, Arte might have been able to play it off as nothing. “What if I fell on my face?” she demanded.

Monde shrugged, dropping her arm around Arte’s shoulders as if nothing was wrong. “You wouldn’t fall, I wouldn’t let you.”

“How are you so smooth?” Arte demanded, nearly throwing her arms up in the air. This time Arte caught the umbrella before Arte accidentally whacked either of them with it.

“Because I’m super cool with my super cool girlfriend.”

Arte didn’t believe it, but she was beginning to think that Monde believed it. And that was almost more important.

Better than resolutions

​List of things to believe in:

1. Myself. Pretty good idea, as he keeps telling me.

2. Bike. Because if I think about how fast I’m going downhill on something with two wheels for too long I might panic. Because what if I fall off at that speed? I could die! Or worse, break my wrist!

“What are you writing?” his boyfriend asked, sitting down on the other side of the futon.
He paused, pulling the pad of paper down into his lap. “Oh, just a list of things to be optimistic about.”

His boyfriend stretched out across the way. He moved the pad out of his lap for the other’s head to land there. “Cool. Am I on there?”

“Of course.”

3. My boyfriend​. Who bought me the bike so I would stop complaining about taking the bus.

This is why proofreading is important

“Hey. Hey hey hey.”

“For God’s sake Mark,” his friend sighed. “What?”

“Don’t use His name in vain.” Despite saying that, it was obviously just a reaction, because Mark didn’t make any other motions that he had really been offended by his friend’s speech. “Look at this.”

He might have began to read the email, if Mark’s finger wasn’t covering the body of it. Instead, his eyes travelled up to the part of the screen he could still see.

Father’s Day deals for the man who gave birth to you?”

Mark laughed. “Well, I’m sure there is a small pool of people that that could apply to, right?”

“Mark, stop reading junk mail.”

Seamstress of magic

It was a spectacle to hide the truth of her work.

Zlhna didn’t like to lie. She told her audience it would change their lives and then she would begin. Pulling the threads of power through the air, people believed as she had said. Afterward she would hear how they would never forget the image of something they could barely see being pulled into a different form, one indescribable to most.

That was not what Zlhna truly meant.

She was a seamstress and she did not bring her own material with her. She pulled the magic from the very existence of their location and turned it into something beautiful. That was not what she meant. She turned it into something better.

Not everyone thought it was better.

Yet she had yet to hear that it was bad. She believed it must be done. Zlhna would continue to do it. Because she believed it must be done.

Because Mai believed in her.

A matter of belief

There was something about how Salimah had completely given herself over to a higher power that Temperance wished to understand. Not that she was religious or wanted to be. She knew which gods existed and appreciated that, but to be a part of a temple closed off so many other options she had always wanted to keep open.

“Did you always want this?” she asked her friend, sitting down at the table across from her. They were alone in this common room, their companions not here.

“Want… this?” The soft smile, the complete patience and compassion that Temperance lacked. It made her wonder.

“Yeah. What you have now.”

“Part of it was always my duty. However… yes. I wanted to take this task on from my mother. I wanted to be able to sooth the hurts of others. For that, I was lucky.”

Salimah said it so matter-of-factly. “Giving yourself to a single god?” Temperance asked.

“It is nice to know that my faith for one thing will always be rewarded.” Salimah smiled. “That’s what you’re looking for, isn’t it? My selfish reasons?”

That made her flush. “I-I didn’t mean it like that.”

“No, it’s fine. I understand. We all have those reasons. And what I said is true. Having one thing in life I can never doubt is reassuring. But not for everyone. One doesn’t need something so all-encompassing to be devoted. Don’t doubt yourself, Temperance.”

She sighed, feeling so see through. “Thanks.”

“Of course, Temperance. Of course.”