Featured Story
Recent Stories
Stories by Topic
Make the universe a better place! Join Daily Science Fiction for only $15 / year, or donate any amount.
Take me to a...
Random story
top-rated stories only
Enter any portion of the author name or story title:
Sign up for free daily sci-fi!
your email will be kept private
Breaking News
Get a copy of Not Just Rockets and Robots: Daily Science Fiction Year One. 260 adventures into new worlds, fantastical and science fictional. Rocket Dragons Ignite: the anthology for year two, is also available!
Kindle Edition
Kindle Edition
DSF stories are available in monthly digests for Kindle!
DSF for Kindle
Publish your stories or art on Daily Science Fiction:
Submit your story
Check story status
Not just rockets & robots...
What is Science Fiction?
"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.

The Black Violin

Elizabeth Twist is a speculative fiction writer living in Hamilton, Ontario. Her stories have appeared in Dark Faith: Invocations, Krampusnacht: Twelve Nights of Krampus, and Suction Cup Dreams. Find her on Twitter @elizabethtwist.
Helene takes two vows on her wedding day, equally rotten.
The first is private. Midnight crossroads. Chanted words. The scent of brimstone. Cherry red skin and horns in a gentleman's suit. Negotiation. A cold kiss to seal agreement.
The second, at bright noon, under a cherry blossom cascade. Alphonse's lewd smile. His thrusting tongue.
Wedding night, his drunken hands, tearing fabric, tearing her. When she opens her eyes, the violin sits on the chair in the corner.
"Can I play for you?" she asks.
Her hands tremble. Brimstone notes. Alphonse's feet twitch.
She plays, eternal in her stained dress. He dances, feet worn down to stumps.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

I love stories about the devil: deals at the crossroads, people who are stuck on the wrong side of social boundaries, desperate contracts. I also love the nightmare quality of certain fairytale tropes, like getting what you want (dancing shoes!) but way too much of it (dance until you die!). At the same time, I've been playing a lot lately with telegraphic storytelling and microfiction, the main challenge of which is orienting the reader in the story in no time at all. Because stories about the devil and fairytale tropes are so common, smooshing them together helped me to build a scaffold for this very brief tour of an emotionally fraught scenario.

- Elizabeth Twist
We hope you're enjoying The Black Violin by Elizabeth Twist.

Please support Daily Science Fiction by becoming a member.

Daily Science Fiction does not have a paywall, but we do have expenses—more than 95% of which are direct payments to authors for their stories. With your $15 membership, less than 6 cents per story, we can continue to provide genre fiction every weekday by email and on the website to thousands of readers for many years to come. You may also choose to support us via patreon. Tell me more!

Support Daily Science Fiction

Please click to rate this story from 1 (ho-hum) to 7 (excellent!):

Please don't read too much into these ratings. For many reasons, a superior story may not get a superior score.

4.3 Rocket Dragons Average


Please join our mailing list and receive free daily sci-fi (your email address will be kept 100% private):
Copyright Info
Tell a Friend
Send Feedback
About Us