“I want something new.” Faith blinked her golden eyes.

“There must be something new.” Hope fluttered her ginger eyes.

“I’d kill for something new.” Charity narrowed her amber eyes.

Weary of sameness, the three decided to seek diversion this autumn evening, so they retreated up the back staircase to their dressing rooms to prepare for their outing.

Faith wore the blue dress with the suns scattered across the bodice.

Hope wore the bluer dress with the moons scattered across the shoulders.

Charity wore the bluest dress with the stars scattered across the skirt.

Faith selected the pink rouge and shaded her lips.

Hope selected the pinker rouge and shaded her lips and cheeks.

Charity selected the pinkest rouge and shaded her lips, cheeks and eyes.

They gathered in the upstairs hall, in front of the antique mirror, to inspect and be inspected. It was observed that the three looked just as fine as it was possible to look. They descended the front staircase to begin their outing.

Faith chose the red cloak.

Hope chose the redder cloak.

Charity chose the reddest cloak.

All the cloaks fastened with a clasp of a sleek, black cat with deep, green eyes.

The three floated down the porch stairs, out into the smoky fall night and stepped onto the path through the woods. The sun had set, a chill bit the air and the haze of wood fires shrouded the moonlight. They drifted silently along the misty path, anticipating what they would find.

Pretty pictures enticed them through the stark branches of the black trees, but nothing piqued their interest until they saw a large red barn, alive with laughing people and glittering lights. The three stepped out of the woods to get a better view of this spectacle. When all the cat’s green eyes glowed intensely, the three nodded and followed the rich, emerald light illuminating the path to their journey’s end.

Faith, Hope, and Charity sat against the wall of the barn, watching the square dancers mill around, the vibrant colours of their costumes bright against the dark wood of the room. The musicians tuned their instruments, calling the dancers to attention.

“I wish they would get to dancing,” Faith yearned.

“They’re here to dance so it can’t be long,” Hope implored.

“I crave to see them up there dancing,” Charity sighed.

The caller took his place, gathered the dancers to the floor and sang out the opening steps.

“I like this piece of music.” Faith nodded her head to the music.

“It’s a nice, happy tune.” Hope patted her fingers to the music.

“I wish they’d liven it up, though.” Charity clicked her tongue faster than the music.

The music sped up and the dancers followed.

“Well that’s snapped it up nicely,” Faith approved.

“They’re dancing a little livelier now,” Hope admired.

“The dancers are stepping along right sprightly,” Charity confirmed.

The dancers twirled faster and clogged harder – the fiddle sang ardently and the caller shouted frenziedly. Their skirts spun, their feet swung and they whirled gaily past the three watchers.

“This is turning into something pretty.” Faith smiled at the music.

“Now it’s becoming a dance.” Hope hummed with the music.

“They’re still too earthbound. I wish they would go faster.” Charity bounced faster than the music.

As feet tapped and hands clapped, the dancers circled swiftly around the barn, smiling and laughing at their fun.

“I wish the music would play ‘Washboard Hannah’ – that’s a nice, pretty tune.” Faith hummed a few bars, and the music changed as if it agreed with her.

“I wish the music would play ‘Bee Talk’ – that’s a nice, bouncy tune.” Hope swung her head and the fiddle sped up as if it agreed with her.

“I wish the music would play ‘Steppin’ On’ – that’s a nice, brisk tune.” Charity mimicked a few steps and the dancers copied them as if they agreed with her.

“But they’re just not fast enough,” Faith whined.

“It’s so much prettier when they’re faster,” Hope fretted.

“I know they can go faster,” Charity protested.

The dancers wheeled around the barn, skirts swirling out, feet flying, smiles frozen in place.

“Well now that’s a little better.” Faith tapped her foot.

“It’s an improvement.” Hope snapped her fingers.

“It could yet be a bit faster.” Charity clapped her hands.

The dancers flew around the barn faster and faster, their frozen smiles now rictuses, their eyes frantic, their feet blurred.

“Well there, that’s faster,” Faith approved.

“Yes, that is faster,” Hope nodded.

“Now that is dancing,” Charity smiled.

“Maybe it’s time to move on,” Faith wondered.

“I think it might be time to head elsewhere,” Hope suggested.

“I believe it is time to try something new,” Charity conjectured.

“They look like they’ll dance all night,” Faith observed.

“They look like they’ll dance together,” Hope peered.

“They look like they’ll dance forever,” Charity noted.

The three gave a long, satisfied look at the dancers. They rose and floated to the barn door, out into the early fall morning and found the path through the woods. The sun was rising, a wind was biting the air and the haze of cook stove fires coloured the dawn. They stepped lightly along the path, anticipating what they would find.

“I want something new.” Faith blinked her golden eyes.

“There must be something new.” Hope fluttered her ginger eyes.

“I’d kill for something new.” Charity narrowed her amber eyes.

Mickie Bolling-Burke

Mickie Bolling-Burke

Growing up on the east coast, Mickie kept her wrist watch at California time. When she finally made it to the palm trees and Pacific Ocean of the west coast, she knew she’d found home. She worked as an actor until her beloved Los Angeles grew too big for her. She and her family now live in a small corner of the southwest, where she finds the sky as majestic and blue as she did the ocean. Mickie spends her time hiking, drawing, reading and writing horror and suspense stories inspired by her much adored rescue cats, Lassie and Pal.
Mickie Bolling-Burke

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  • A chilling story that compares favorably to Bixby’s “It’s a GOOD Life.” I hope to see more work from this writer.