Pink Slip


Here is a bet for you: one day you wake up and you are the immolated queen. Your skin no longer belongs to you. The man in the finest pinstripe suit you’ve ever seen is looking at you like he’s trying to measure the smallest space he can fit you into. The staring faces expect you to bleed for their children.


You stomp your foot and say: “I made this place what it is!” Or something equally grandiose. Maybe it was: “Carrion birds pick at my soul every night before sleep, so I can come here unburdened.” Or: “Everyone here bears the mark of my claws, and I have a knife in my drawer with a sweat-stained hilt.”


It doesn’t matter. People are waiting for the fine wind your fall will bring. You pick up your flowers one by one, a bouquet of inked paper and stainless steel. The soothsayer holds the knife. Your mother still thinks this is your wedding day, and hopes you won’t have stained your white dress.




Clio Velentza lives in Athens, Greece, and enjoys writing in coffee shops while her beverage grows cold. Her work has appeared in print in “21 New Voices”, online in “FractalArt”, “” and “25th Hour Project”, and is forthcoming in “Whiskey Paper”. Find her at @clio_v.


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Photo credit: Nina Aimee Barnes (