The Invention of Saints
When the headless man came to our village I was only a girl. He walked on torn feet showing the dull tips of bones, carrying under a dusty arm a bundle from which trickled a strange low song. The wound on his neck was all dried up and shriveled, flies swarmed and children ran after him, throwing stones. He stumbled into our kitchen and offered a miracle of bread in exchange for my mother's famed needlework. When she kneeled to reach for his ragged hem he gave her the bundle instead, and out rolled the head with its pale lips still singing. He was looking for the mouth to be sewn up. The gods loved his song too much, he said. They would not let him die.
Clio Velentza lives in Athens, Greece. Last year she was a resident at the Dickinson House, in
southwest Belgium. She's had stories in Atticus Review, Literary Orphans, WhiskeyPaper