The Salt
7:05 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Giant Renaissance Food People Descend Upon New York

Vertumnus, Arcimboldo's portrait of Emperor Rudolph II
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Tue May 21, 2013 3:30 pm

It takes a lot of chutzpah to reduce one of the most powerful men on Earth to a pile of fruits and vegetables.

Luckily for art lovers, Giuseppe Arcimboldo had nerve to spare.

Arcimboldo created this unorthodox produce portrait of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II back in 1590. By that time, the Italian artist had been painting for the emperor and his powerful Habsburg family for more than 25 years, so presumably, they'd grown used to his visual jokes. (The emperor has "peachy" cheeks and "ears" of corn, get it?)

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You Must Read This
6:03 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Ghost Ships, Murders, Bird Attacks: Stories To Keep You Awake

Ethan Rutherford is the author of The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories.

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From Our Listeners
5:54 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction: 'Ten Ring Fingers' And 'Ghost Words'

Originally published on Sun May 19, 2013 5:18 pm

NPR's Bob Mondello and Susan Stamberg read excerpts of two of the best submissions for Round 11 of our short story contest. They read Ten Ring Fingers by Tamara Breuer of Washington, D.C., and Ghost Words by Matheus Macedo of Winthrop, Mass. You can read their full stories below and find other stories on our Three-Minute Fiction page or on Facebook.

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Three-Minute Fiction
5:42 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Ten Ring Fingers

She found the first ring on a night that smelled of body odor and beer. The bar's last customers had finally given up hope of taking her to bed and staggered away, leaving her to clean the stains of their desperation. She mopped the floor as quickly as possible to escape the place that made her feel uncomfortable in her own skin.

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Three-Minute Fiction
5:41 am
Sun May 19, 2013

Ghost Words

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 10:22 am

The letter smelled of lavender and vanilla, like she couldn't decide which perfume to use so she used both. Her hand-writing had been drawn with the careful precision only seventh-grade girls in love have patience for. Hidden behind the words were indents and scratches, ghosts of words that weren't quite right, rewrites on top of rewrites.

The envelope lay flat and perfectly sealed in the middle of the hallway. If it had not been in front of her locker I may have left it there. I thought of all possibilities before tearing open the smooth flap of pink paper.

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