Astronomical clock. St. Marks, Venice.
Image from WikiMedia by Marcelo Teson.

When she was in her late teens–as soon as she started college and could reinvent herself as she’d planned–Natalie went by Lee, and claimed her birthday was June fifth. That made her a Gemini. She admired the positive traits of the sign–affectionate, gregarious, and arty. An air sign felt light and free. Just like her.

The fact that her actual April twenty-sixth birthday made her an earth sign–Taurus–was, she figured, a error of fate she might as well correct.

One problem troubled her, though. The June birthstone–pearl–was either a cheap, dull white imitation, or out of her price range. Then when she was flaunting the authentic pearl necklace she’d exhausted herself flirting for, someone told her how pearls were made. From grit. From trash!

A June birthday wasn’t suited to her.

May was emerald, which was much better. She had to settle for a birthday on the twenty-third instead of her lucky number five, but some sacrifices have to be made.

In her late twenties, Natalie went by Natalia, and discovered the Chinese zodiac. The Western zodiac had palled over time. She went through a menagerie of animals as she shaved years off her age, postponing the dreaded mid-thirties.

She regretted that no one would believe she was a dragon, but perhaps with some plastic surgery she could get there. If not, her emerald jewelry would console her.

Though lately, she’d been considering the sparkle of colored diamonds–a rainbow of colors, to match every outfit. Being an Aries wouldn’t be so bad.

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

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