Note: Storylandia 9, “Rose”, is a 20,000 word novella, not a short story, even an extremely long one. ED
“Storylandia is a very brief work of fiction that follows Rose, a “Pretty Lady” who lives in a home similar to a Brothel, but more upscale. She is the “head girl” and entertains men nightly in a land of princes and barons, the days of Yore, I would guess. Even though this is an extremely short story, I felt like the author didn’t rush through or try to cram too much in. She told Rose’s story in a clear, concise way, and I felt like I “knew” Rose. There were a few twists and turns in the plot, and though the ending may have been predictable, the route Rose took was anything but.” Library Thing, June 6, 2013
“I received this book through the members giveaway on Library Thing. I enjoyed Rose’s story. She had a sad life and was able to put up mental barriers to protect herself from accepting her situation. Until one day when she meets another sad soul who unknowingly breaks down her barriers and forces her to take a good look at her life. This ultimately makes her decide if she truly wants to be happy or if she wants to continue her life the way it is. This is a nice short story about a woman who ultimately decides that she wants to find happiness for herself even though it seems she is doomed to a life of misery.” Library Thing, April 12, 2013
She is called Rose, and she works in a House of Pretty Ladies. This is not me, I am not here, she tells herself when she is with clients. But the night after the city falls victim to a conquering empire, she encounters a young prince whose sadness makes it impossible for her to keep her own griefs forgotten.
Spring comes, and Rose becomes more restless. The conquerors start home but the prince lingers, and she wonders if he will ask her to go back with him. She does not know if she loves him, or if that even matters. For the first time in the years since she fled to Madame’s House, Rose considers what she wants and whether it might be possible to hope again. It would mean becoming open as a child: it would mean believing that there could be comfort and solace, relief and love.
A novella and anti-fairy tale with a medieval setting, Rose explores themes of love and loss, healing and the fragility of hope.
Rebecca Lartigue teaches literature at Springfield College. Last year the Springfield Cultural Council (a local division of the Massachusetts Cultural Council) awarded her an Artist Fellowship in support of her fiction. Her work has appeared in The Speculative Edge and is forthcoming in Massachusetts Review. She can be reached via the contact page at www.rebeccalartigue.com.