Featured Story
Recent Stories
Stories by Topic
News
Make the universe a better place! Join Daily Science Fiction for only $15 / year.
Membership
Take me to a...
Random story
top-rated stories only
Enter any portion of the author name or story title:
small-go-arrowsearch
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.
close






Choices

"Choose," she says, her beauty breathtaking in the starlight. "Say that I shall be beautiful in the day, and all shall envy you for the loveliness of your wife, and a monster in the night. A monster--" her voice trembles--"that you may not even be able to touch. Or hear yourself mocked for wedding a monster in the daylight, and know your good fortune when the sun vanishes, and you see me in your bed, lit by candles and fire."
He has known many women. He gives her his deepest, most courteous bow. "I would let the lady choose."
Her lips tremble. "If only I could. Choose."
She is, he realizes, quite, quite innocent. The corners of his mouth twitch into a smile. "Daylight, of course."
He manages to hold the smile as her loveliness dissolves, as the starlight dances across her monstrous face.
He reaches out to grab her mottled hands, now tipped with long sharp claws. "Shall we wed?" he asks, and closing his eyes, manages to place the lightest of kisses on her hairy, bumpy forehead, before swiftly withdrawing from the taste and feel.
"Yes," she whispers.
"In the morning, then," he tells her, with another bow.
In fact, it is five mornings before everything can be arranged--she needs clothing, in two sizes, a ring, a hundred other small necessities. A priest must be found, family notified, guests invited.
But when all is ready, he stands beside her in the bright morning light, clasping her hands, kissing her deeply when the ceremony is done.
Neither of them touches the wedding feast, although the guests eat heartily, congratulating him for winning such a lovely bride. He bows again, and laughing, warns his family and friends that they may not see much of her. He plans to keep her quite, quite busy by day, and expects her to be too tired to see anyone--well, anyone other than him--at night. The guests laugh at this. She flushes and looks at the ground. The guests laugh more.
When the sun is high in the sky he gives a grand bow to the wedding guests, and drags her away, back to a small manor he has purchased for them.
"We should stay," she says. "We'll miss the dancing, and your friends--"
"Do not need me just now," he interrupts. "And we have only a few hours."
"It is not that far to the manor," she tells him. "You need not worry about your friends discovering the truth."
He turns and smiles at her. "Ah, but I meant that we had only a few hours."
She gives him a puzzled look. He laughs and pulls her close to him, kissing her deeply before hurrying on. "Barely time enough for me to show you all the things I can do to and with you in daylight. Well before we have any need for candles."
The End
This story was first published on Monday, September 14th, 2020
BECOME A MEMBER!
We hope you're enjoying Choices by Mari Ness.

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. Tell me more!

Support Daily Science Fiction

RATE THIS STORY
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.

3.8 Rocket Dragons Average

SHARE THIS STORY

JOIN MAILING LIST
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