Lighthouses and Aliens--1Bellicose adjusted the system of pulleys and mirrors that reflected the light from the stationary lighthouse lamp up into the heavens. She held up a big piece of cardboard, judged her angle, then began to cover and uncover the light in a series of patterns.
Who is out tonight?
"Bellicose!" Bellicose looked up to see her brother trip up the stairs. Bidan yanked the piece of cardboard from her hands and kicked at the switch keeping the light stationary. The lamp began to rotate the way it was meant to. Bidan bustled about taking down Bellicose's system of mirrors, scolding her all the way. "How many times do I have to TELL you? The lamp is NOT FOR SIGNALLING ALIENS! You need to let the light focus on the harbor so people don't smash their ships into the rocks! What are you, six? Stop messing with the light!"
"You're just bitter because the aliens haven't come yet," Bellicose said petulantly, sticking out her tongue at him. She folded her arms stubbornly over her skinny chest. "You're ang
"A World without Bellicose".
As soon as Bellicose was safe inside her apartment, she pulled off her clothes and locked herself in her bedroom.
She turned around in front of her full-length mirror, twisting awkwardly to see every scrap of skin on her body in the mirror. She'd been beaten with a crowbar and had nothing but a few ruined articles of clothing to show for it. That couldn't be right. She'd seen enough movies where crowbars were instruments of serious bodily harm to know better. She searched desperately for a mark on her body, a scar or a discoloration that would show she was, in fact, human.
She found no such proof.
Bellicose stepped away from the mirror and pressed her hands to her mouth. She stared hungrily at her reflection. She balled her hand into a fist and swallowed her pride. "I am not overreacting," she hissed, and slammed her fist into the mirror, burying her knuckles in glass. When she pulled her hand away, she stared at her fingers expectan
The Magician--2An eternity later, the door swung open. The space beyond the little room was pitch black for a moment before cheery gas-lamps lit themselves. Bellicose stood up stiffly and peered out. The magician was nowhere in sight. She stepped out into the corridor and the door snapped shut behind her, leaving no evidence of it having ever existed. "Stupid magicians," she grumbled. "Flaunting their little spoonfuls of magic. I bet he only has a teaspoon of it." She walked down the corridor and up a flight of steps to what could only have been the deck of a ship. The stars glimmered rainbow hues overhead with only a sliver of moon. Bellicose buttoned up her filthy jacket and peered over the railing of the ship.
A city's lights twinkled up at her from far, far below. So far below that clouds occasionally came between the ship and the land. She sprinted across the deck back down the stairs and down the corridor into a little room that smelled like hot chocolate and burnt cinnamon. "I want to go home,