On the day of her wedding, the bride of the Scarred Utopian pulls her veil down over her face. She does this unassisted by her attendants, assembled around her in silence of the most solemn kind—this is a thing that she must do herself, her fingertips slipping over the intricate needle lace. She sees patterns of flowers and winding vines spiraling endlessly around birds in flight, leaping stags, wild hares, other creatures impossibly strange. Shapes that change forever, altering themselves the very instant she identifies their nature. She sees this, and then the veil is over her head, a vague white blur, and that is all she sees.
The story itself actually comes out of a paper I wrote in my second semester of grad school, after I’d been devouring a lot of Zygmunt Bauman and Omer Bartov’s writing on utopian ideals and how destructive they can be. Stuck that onto my desire to write something about fairy tale tropes and the removal of women’s agency and here we are.