The Curiosity Test

To guarantee the curious will look in there, ask them not to. Bluebeard hated curiosity. His milieu included those who did horrific things without hesitation. He was too jaded for an open attitude, too busy to promote book-learning. His weakness? Innocence. He fell serially in love, but idylls always ended with the Curiosity Test. Its results are his main legacy. Not fame for particular treasures stolen, pirate-hunters outgunned. Not which ships were boarded, taken through close-range hand-to-hand. Not the name his mother gave him. “Don’t look,” sounds so much like “Look.” “Forbid” and “forgive”—also close but not the same.

Todd Mercer won 1st, 2nd & 3rd place of the Kent County Dyer-Ives Poetry Prizes and the won Grand Rapids Festival Flash Fiction Prize. Recent work appears in: The Drabble, The Lake, The Magnolia Review, and Praxis.

See more of his work in 3.2 and Special Flash 50/50 and 4.3