On the Sweetness of Children
by Michelle Muenzler
The princess waves her pudgy arms and regurgitates half-digested milk into a puddle across her christening robe. Above her, the Green Fairy clutches the edge of the crib and leans in.
"For my gift--" A spasm shudders through the Green Fairy's wings, and droplets of sweat bead like honey across her brow. "For my gift," she begins again, "the princess shall always--"
Her eyes pop wide. She wheezes. Claws at her chest. The king and queen hold their breath. At the corner of the Green Fairy's lip, bubbles of spit rise and burst. Her face turns eggshell white. Then blue.
"Always... hunger. For... for... " Her wings spasm once more, then twice, then thrice, and she collapses onto the floor. She does not move again.
Saints glower across the vaulted ceiling. In the crib, the princess reaches upward and begins to wail.