Hedea looked down the ribbon of road that led from the center of town to the edge. It was brown and dusty; she longed to sweep it like a kitchen floor. But where would she pile the dirt when she was done? Would she sweep it to the left, up over the bending tulips and into the bread-white foyer of the baker’s shop? Would she sweep it to the right, under the bellies of horses and into the forge? Her hands twitched with the memory of simple tasks; wringing, smoothing, sweeping, and her hair blew like dandelion seeds away from her wrinkled face and stooped shoulders. She straightened those shoulders around an ancient knot in the center of her back and waited for her neighbors to spill out onto the spring-green lip of the road, their hands wrapped around basket-handles and the fists of small children. She wept then, more for the little ones than for herself. They shouldn’t have to see this so early in life.
A woman scapegoated by her community runs a magical gauntlet which ends in either freedom or death. Will she make it to the edge of town and into the waiting arms of those who walked the gauntlet before her? Find out in "Casting Sin."
"Three nights, maybe less," I told the man; a grandchild clinging to his neck, another clutching a trouser leg, and watched his mouth fall slack with fear. "And we can only make ten trips up the mountain a day, for people and supplies both, so the Qandunar warmaster wants you to run, if you can."
Three broken people; a monk bearing a terrible scar, a warrior facing a terrible sorrow, a woman hiding a terrible past face a relentless army so hard to defeat it might as well be invincible. Find out whether or not they survive in "C is for Change." Now available in the B is for Broken anthology.
“Seiðkona! Sing the crumbling city to itself.
Foretell the tale to travelers and witnesses.
Remake the march of days; mend the starry plain,
and bring oblivion to the blight Skuld forgot.”
In a city that is, spacetime fissures gape like ravenous grendels in the landscape. In a city that might have been, a traumatized girl can close the mouths of these monsters before they ever open, if only she will sing. Between them, a trio of musicians play as if all life, everywhere, depends upon the song. And it does.
"Sing the Crumbling City" is the featured story for the month of April 2015 at Mythic Delirium, and you can read it there for free.