Tags: capricious, julie cox, serialized fiction
Welcome to Fox Pass, Texas, a small community where the people are friendly and the mythical creatures aren’t so mythical after all. Capricious by Julie Cox follows the adventures of satyr Luke and his fellow myth-folk in a town that borders a whole lot more than Mexico. (Do you need to start at chapter 1?)
It threatened to storm the morning of the wedding. Sally took care of that. It took another couple of fae spells to turn it warm before three, when Sally met Luke by the sunflower patch.
She let her father give her away. Her dress was simple, new white satin to her bare feet. She wore her grandmother’s gray shawl, the one piece of weaving the impoverished Navajo woman had kept for herself, hand spun from a favorite ewe’s last fleece. It represented the grand sum of all Sally knew about her grandmother. She borrowed Allison’s mother-of-pearl butterfly hair clips, and a small stone of turquoise in a silver pendant. Luke wore a white shirt, black slacks, and suspenders under a dark red vest. His hair behaved. They each thought the other resplendent.
Luke couldn’t help but smile at their friends, seated beyond the mass of parents, grandparents, brothers, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, and uncles. A lot of them were members of the Fox Pass council, and one from New York in black motorcycle leathers had slipped in at the last minute. Luke’s brother Matt, Orson, and Cormick were beside him; Sally’s cousin Nell, Charlie, and Allison were on Sally’s side.
A Methodist minister read familiar vows. Luke hardly heard the words; he could only gaze at Sally’s smiling face. He put a ring on her finger, a small band of silver and turquoise, and she put one on him. He raised her veil, and they kissed. Their assembled loved ones clapped, congratulated them, and put the folding chairs away. There was eating to be done, and dancing, and celebrating. Luke barely remembered any of it; all he could recall, later, was his beautiful and radiant and happy bride.
As the light and the warmth of the day failed, family and friends left, in ascending order of importance. Allison took Charlie back to her house, and everyone kissed everyone else good-bye, promises of lives lived close hanging unspoken among them. Sootie chased the familiar taillights down the driveway and then ran back with her tongue lolling, scattering offended chickens. Luke fed the goats, sleeves rolled past his elbows, and Sally turned off the outside lights. She waited for him on the front porch, a vision in white with the gray wool shawl now wrapped close around her. Luke joined her on the porch and wrapped his arms around her waist. They kissed, long and slow and deep, and went into the house together.
In years to come, the house would expand. Luke’s tiny bedroom became the nursery when they built on a larger master bedroom; they added a third bedroom when the nursery was needed again in a few years. The kitchen expanded, as did the living room, and then another bedroom appeared, and a mudroom off the kitchen. More land fenced in, more garden space plowed, a proper workshop built for Luke and an office for Sally. A swing set and a tree house went up, and a rotating cast of bikes, toys, sporting equipment, and, finally, far too many cars full of teenagers littered the front yard. The flower patch where they’d married came to house a pair of ponies with a small red barn and a wall full of ribbons, and a stall was added on for an enormous palomino quarter horse, where one little girl or another could almost always be found. A stone in the front garden stayed undisturbed for Saul, and many long years later, another for Sootie.
But none of that was even a scribble on paper yet, that first night. They went to the little bedroom with the door Sally and her father had fixed, to the little twin-sized bed. Luke lay down beneath Sally; he swept her hair from her face, studying her smile. “I’m yours,” he said. “You got me. No matter what happens from here on out, I’m yours.”
“I know,” she said. “I know it bone-deep. And that’s why I can stand to share you, when I have to, even enjoy it. I know you’re always coming home to me.”
Their bodies moved together as the moon blazed cold, blue light through the time-frosted windowpanes. He drank in her magic, and gave it back to her in equal measure. They did not stifle their cries—who else was there to hear? They wore out the words “I love you” and “Oh God.” They slept in each other’s arms, as late into the morning as the animals would allow.
Their myth-folks selves might live forever, or at least as long as any of them could perceive. But for Luke and Sally, one lifetime would have to be enough.
This is it—there’s only one chapter of Capricious left to go! The final installment will appear on July 18. If that day has already arrived, you can proceed to the next post! If not, why not revisit earlier installments?
Julie Cox lives in Texas with her husband, children, and ever-expanding menagerie of animals on their farm. She runs a small online yarn business and teaches yarn spinning. She has numerous stories published with Circlet Press and elsewhere. For her full list of published works, see her website at www.lazypifarm.com.