A memoir by S. Villar, as presented by Xariffa Suarez
Art by A. Jones
A great tragedy has occurred. Poor Solara Villar, media darling and pianist extraordinaire, lost her parents, her twin sister, and her home in a massive fire. In an interview recorded several days earlier, Solara, as beautiful as ever, clutching her famous gloved left hand on her lap, tearfully announces her retirement from the concert circuit and from all public life.
Possibly for the hundredth time, I watch this on the newsfeed in my hotel suite at the top of The Ritz Towers, mouthing every word. I proudly note the interview, a world-class performance.
Pictures of Solara at different ages stream across the screen, evoking memories I don’t welcome. Extremely wealthy in her own right, the announcer says, Ms. Villar inherited a massive fortune. Of course, I know all of this, but I can’t stop watching.
The screen flashes scenes from the funeral. The eccentric girl had, the man says, erected a great monument at the family gravesite and, curiously, had it inscribed “Slain by the Jealous Moon.” He reports that speculation as to the source–Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, or the twentieth-century song “Jealous Moon,” by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band–has flooded all social media.
Though free, rid of them all, my pitiless heart softens and, against my will, my thoughts return to the past.
Solara and I lived at a secluded estate in upstate New York with our parents Joseph and Marie Villar, in a twenty-room chalet made of great northern white cedar logs culled from the property. Mother ran the house and minded us, along with Nanny Alice, and despite invitations from local socialites, Mother had no interest in bridge clubs and charitable functions. When not traveling to conferences and such, Father spent his time in the laboratory on the top floor, forbidden to us.
We spent our early years romping around the estate with our four dogs, or pestering the gardeners and the housemaids. My sister enrolled at a private day school at age five and Mother dismissed Nanny Alice.
“Am I going to school, too?” I asked.
“No, dear one. I would be all alone,” Mother said. “I couldn’t bear parting with you.”
This satisfied me for a time as I, like all children, thoroughly believed in my personal divinity.
To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Spring 2018 collection.
Ms. Villar, after a quiet few months grieving, set up a foundation for victims of disreputable scientists. It is not known how many clones of persons, to be politically correct, exist. They are found by word of mouth, and by special disguised ads in newspapers and on websites. The foundation maintains safe houses in every state, and future plans include worldwide expansion.
Xariffa Suarez lives in Dallas, Texas, of all places, but thinks she would be a better fit for New York, New Orleans, or OZ (the land of, not the prison). An avid reader straight out of the womb, the fantastical settled into her psyche. Old black and white sci-fi movies with pitiful special effects made her appreciate style. One story she wrote, “Farewell Fidel,” was published in an anthology by Southern Methodist University, where she took writing classes. This is her first story sale.
AJ is an illustrator and comic artist with a passion for neon colors and queer culture. Catch them being antisocial on social media @thehauntedboy.
“Eclipsed” is © 2018 Xariffa Suarez
Art accompanying story is © 2018 A. Jones