Apex Magazine Contest Submission #1

My Darling Eponine,

I knew the moment I first saw you, that you had been put on this Earth expressly for me. Kindling a fire I thought had long since been extinguished. How I loved you, and hated you, for averting those beautiful eyes from my gaze. Too soon though your father took you from me, and my world grew dimmer for your absence.


Beloved, I went into every shop inquiring after you. It took rather vigorous inquiry but Ms. Tibbs, at the patisserie, eventually conceded. Her death was not intended, but such are the consequences of trying to deny fate!


Sweetheart, I must make a small confession. Your sainted father did not catch his foot in the carpet before falling down the stairs. Alas, he too tried to deny our love. I could not allow him to stand in our way; he had to be sacrificed for the sake of our destiny. Likewise, I dispatched your mother. How could she possibly have gone on without your father? I am, you see, a merciful soul.


Dear heart, that is all behind us now, and I am resolute that this could have been the only path for us. We are unencumbered by convention or intervention, free, to be with only each other for all the rest of eternity. Watching the sun crest over your pale cheek I was overcome. You never woke as I closed my hands around your neck.


I wonder cherub, was that love’s spell or laudanum.




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