Tuesday, April 2, 2019

New Story on Curious Fictions

"Bread and Arrows" from Sword and Sorceress XX is now up on Curious Fictions to read free!

Here's the opening...

Celine knelt in front of the brick-lined bread oven, her head and shoulders halfway inside the fire pit. Her probing fingertips scraped against a cracked, unevenly heating floor tile. She took out her stone-wand, hoping she wouldn't have to dismantle the entire oven to make repairs. Nestled in a bucket of warm ashes, her salamander kept up an incessant grumble. 
“Fire-go-out! World end!” 
The string of bells on the front door of the bakery shop chimed gently, accompanied by the creaking hinge. Celine crawled backwards out of the oven and clambered to her feet. Basalt stood just inside the opened half-door, feet spread apart as if braced against a storm, an expression of disapproval twisting his thin lips. 
As if I didn't have enough troubles! First, my moon cycles, then this accursed oven, and now him! 
Celine tucked a stray curl back under her widow's coif and tried to pretend Basalt was really here to buy bread. There were a few long-loaves left, arranged on their wooden racks like giant's matchsticks, plus the raspberry tarte her friend Annelys had asked her to make for Herve's name-day and then not picked up. If Basalt would take the tarte and leave, he could have it. 
“Cold-cold-cold!” Fireling insisted. “Waiting here for-ever!”

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