Collected, Arranged and Verified by Svetlana Rhosven
Provided by Alexis A. Hunter
Art by Scarlett O’Hairdye
I hope this letter finds you in good health, dear brother.
I believe I need to learn more about the actual work I am claiming to be doing. This belief was cemented by a run-in I had with a would-be customer yesterday. My assistant Quinton had stepped out to take his lunch, and I took up his post at the counter. I sat there studying Rhosven’s journals and barely looked up when the customer–-a gargantuan of a woman who smelled of salted pork-–entered. She was a bit miffed at my lack of notice, but persisted to question me regarding what sort of statue I, the master artist, could create for her illustrious home.
You can imagine how the conversation went from there. I bumbled about and threw out made up terms. I glanced at the door, praying–-if I may still be allowed to pray-–that Quinton would end his lunch early. I began to sweat and grow quite nervous as she seemed to know a fair deal more than me about art, and I feared myself in danger of being found out. After a time, I grew annoyed by her questioning. I told her I could not abide her speaking to me in such a tone and went on to berate her with much indignation.
At last, Quinton arrived and settled everything quite well, allowing me to retreat back to my room with the journals. Needless to say, it was a most aggravating scene. I think I shall have Quinton tell me at least the basics of his work, lest I end up in such a spot again.
Going back to my work, I must tell you that I am tiring of the lower angels. Once they provided a fair challenge, but now I find them as easy prey. More and more, I find myself studying Rhosven’s journals to see what he said of the greater angels. I hardly dare to dream of it, but I must confess I have some aspirations of attaining an archangel one day–-if I can continue to improve my craft. It is folly, you will say. And dangerous, surely. You will be quite correct, but I cannot help the desire of my heart. The cherubs are beautiful indeed, and sell well–-but I desire greater.
How is Mother faring? I hope she is in good health and has not had an overly hard winter. Please tell her I ask about her. I think about her often when I am not out hunting. I believe now it would have been better not to tell her a thing about my work. Or at most, to leave her believing I was out of my mind. That would be better than this silence. I never once believed she would shun me; I think now she may wish I was young enough to fight in this war. No time for my “blasphemous occupation” then, yes?
The night grows dark and the candle is burning low, thus I shall end my letter here. I set out tonight to catch the regular fare. Are you certain your Lilly would not like a cherub as a gift for your impending anniversary? I would be delighted to do so, and can imagine it beside your fireplace in quite a pleasing way. Let me know if you have changed your mind on that score. Give Lilly and the children my best regards and love.
I remain your affectionate brother,
To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Winter 2013 collection.
Doctor Svetlana Rhosven is one of the last remaining descendants of Anton Rhosven, the original Angel Collector. Upon discovering her heritage, Svetlana set out to collect every scrap of detail she could find about the process her ancestor sank so much of his life into. Svetlana attained her Master’s Degree in Angelology & Demonology at UnClouded University in 2001 and currently resides as close as she can to an orphanage.
A lifelong fan of speculative fiction, Alexis A. Hunter specializes in all things mythical, ethereal and out of this world. Her work has appeared most recently in Insatiable Magazine, Post Mortem Press’s The Ghost IS the Machine, Interstellar Fiction and more. To learn more about Alexis visit www.idreamagain.wordpress.com.
Scarlett O’Hairdye is a burlesque performer, producer and artist. To learn more, visit her site at www.scarlettohairdye.com.Follow us online: