So now on to happier news!
My friend/collaborator Jacqueline Flay and I have a new story out in the anthology, “The Death God’s Chosen” by Deepwood Publishing. It’s a novelette featuring Mesolithic vampires, polyamory, an unusually large-scale Revenge SVP, and the origin of writing. Among other things.
This story was quite a while in the making. Working with Jacqueline was a new experience for me at the time, but a good one, and she helped push the story into territory I would have normally been too intimidated to venture into. We had to drop out of the market for which we originally wrote it due to a contractual dispute, and I had some moments of despair wondering if ANYONE else but that market would buy this type of story, but of course it was not only snapped up in due time, but by a market which, despite being a very small press, paid more than the original. And has better cover art. So… Yay!
Plus we’re the first story in the whole anthology & the first authors to be named on the cover, which is kind of cool, in a mindless-ego-feeding sort of way.
“Close your eyes. Sing.”
Tiqu, the new boy, does as he’s told, standing tense in the temple’s centre with Ishka poised in front of him like a lover. He opens his lips on a wordless melody. It doesn’t matter what the song is, only that it distracts him. The comb will hurt worse if he’s thinking about it too hard.
The temple is a monumental thing, carved full of lion-gods, eagle-gods, even beetle-gods. Ishka usually does this under the trees or the stars, wherever her pack happens to be. But the temple was close this time, and she could not resist it. She is old enough to remember when this was pure blasphemy. Imagine gods that stay in one place, not roaming freely like every other creature! There were wars over this temple once. Ishka still smells blasphemy when she visits, and she likes that, even if the humans no longer remember why.
Tiqu’s brow furrows. He repeats his melody, a chant to match the carvings.
Ishka dips her sharpened obsidian comb into the bowl of ash in front of her and looks Tiqu’s nude body up and down.
Then she drives the comb into the flesh of his thigh.
The anthology is ebook-only, but is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.
If you like this, you should know this isn’t my only collaboration with Jacqueline Flay; we’re also in the TOC for Michael Matheson’s anthology “Start a Revolution: QUILTBAG Fiction Vying for Change“, which comes out in 2015.
2 Replies to “New Story: The Screech Owl Also Shall Rest There”
Hey there! 🙂
I read your story when I finally figured out how to open my contributor’s copy, and I LOVED IT. The characters are good, but what I loved most was the scope and distance of the prehistoric setting. You took me into a world long since turned to dust, a place where guards and graves were novel, alien concepts. I don’t know how much was your doing and how much was Jacqueline Flay, but I think I read this faster than any novella I’ve come across before. The ambition of this project really paid off.
Squee! I’m so pleased you enjoyed it. Thanks for commenting!
As for how much was me and how much was Jacqueline, it’s hard to say – we worked together so closely on this one that in many cases I can’t remember exactly who did what. There was definitely a lot of input from both of us, though. We make a good team!
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