Mariposa by Nancy Springer

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Aimee believes everything in her life is great. She's got a boyfriend who's terrific (in bed and out), a penthouse apartment, and everything else a girl of privilege could possibly want.

Well, except for a soul. That seems to have gone missing somehow.

After a trip to a Warlock Doctor confirms that her soul has indeed vanished, she's left with two options: buy a prosthetic one, or try to figure out what happened to the original. Feeling that she must have left her first one somewhere where she could find it, Aimee enlists the help of her mother and grandmother in a hunt for the wayward soul. But Aimee's search for the missing part of her is about to bring forth some long-forgotten memories, and she's going to learn what it really means to have everything in life that's really important.

A short story.


“I’ve lost my soul?” Aimee repeated, almost losing her usual perfect control.

The doctor nodded. “I think so. Probably in early adolescence. It happens more commonly than you might think.” The doctor was a W.D., a Warlock Doctor, a.k.a. Warloctor. Very professional, she betrayed impatience only by adjusting her turban. Aimee could not decide whether the big, craggy woman was black or Lebanese or perhaps Hindu, but it didn’t matter. Nothing seemed to matter. Not even dieting. It was this apathy that had landed Aimee here, in this office with pink cabbage roses growing down from the ceiling.

“Let’s have a look,” the Warloctor suggested gently. “If you’ll stand up, please, and face the mirror.”

Aimee stood, automatically checking her appearance in the full-length mirror: flawless, as usual. Hair in the latest style, makeup worthy of a fashion model, silk blouse, Lauren suit accessorized to perfection, and most important of all, the sparkling diamond on her finger. Colin had bought her the biggest one she could possibly wear in good taste. Colin had promised her a trip to the Polynesian Islands on their honeymoon. Aimee knew herself to be a privileged young woman, in full possession of a highly desirable fiancé, a diploma from Vassar, a BMW convertible, a Fortune 500 career, designer clothing, a personal trainer to help her stay fashionably thin, and on top of all that, a symmetrical, perfectly corrected face. Why, then, did she awaken every morning to a sense of profound, aching emptiness?

“Blessed be that the days of invasive procedures are over,” the Warlock practitioner was saying. “No need to undress.” Murmuring, with her dark, liquid eyes out of focus, the older woman made a few passes with her unadorned hands.

Despite having been briefed on Warlock Doctor procedure when her internist had referred her, Aimee gasped. Just like that, she saw her mirror image change. On her reflected self, all her expensive, expertly applied makeup was gone. Hair color, gone. Breast enhancement, gone. Cantilevered lingerie, carefully assembled clothing and accessories, every artifice by which Aimee maintained an attractive feminine image was stripped away. Only nakedness remained...

  • Published by: Untreed Reads

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