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MANY WATERS AND OTHER STORIES

(A Chapbook by Angelee Sailer Anderson)

A collection of five stories by me will soon be published by Pyx press. Below are short descriptons of the stories, followed by excerpts from each of them.


Many Waters (A Triptych)

Many Waters consists of three stories which may be read independently, but which are thematically related:

  1. The Fairies' Pavane -- On rainy nights, a young girl sees fairies dancing around her backyard jacaranda tree. She longs to join them, but she has heard that death waits in the rain. . . .

  2. Wedding Song -- (previously published in Midnight Zoo Volume 4, Issue 1) A young woman living near a river is wooed by the god that inhabits it. As her attraction to him grows, her clan is beset by unnatural creatures. . . .

  3. Of No Device -- A solitary old woman among the fisherfolk has waited all her life for a knight on horseback to carry her to a better place. The black-shielded rider that comes from over the sea is not what she had expected. . . .

I have composed an hour-long triptych of instrumental musical pieces to accompany these three stories. Visit my Many Waters music page to read more about them.


One Burning Wing

Aidan's grandfather, a wandering tinker, left a mutation in Aidan's blood that caused him to be born without a left arm. But why does baby Aidan try over and over to crawl into the fireplace . . . ?


Prince of Thieves

(This story, which bears no relation to the Robin Hood film of the same name, was previously published in The Mythic Circle Issue 9.)

Gad's Hill near London is known as a haunt for highwaymen, and it is said that at a certain season one who steals more than gold may be met with there. The wish to test the danger for herself becomes too strong for an innkeeper's daughter. . . .


Excerpts


From One Burning Wing

My grandsire was a tinker, come down the road with cast-iron pots and copper kettles slung across his back.

My grandame watched him amble at dusk to her cottage door, and knew that he had succeeded already in selling his skill. "It was his eyes," she says, her own remembering. "Like gold coursing in the furnace they were -- forming, and melting, and forming again."

At the hearth she prepared a meal for him of gobbets of mutton roasted on a spit between new potatoes, and served it with oat cakes and apples and whisky that he drank neat. Afterwards, though it was midwinter, his bare skin struck sparks from hers like flint and ignited her love like tinder, so that still she feels the heat of him to this day.


From Prince of Thieves

In terror of this Prince I blossomed to womanhood, avoiding the hill when I walked, in autumn shunning it even with my gaze. Yet ever as I grew, and so much the more as I grew the older, I questioned what it was that he would take. Worldly goods, maidenhead, life's blood?

"What manner of man is he?" I asked the young chapman to whom I was betrothed.

"One might call him a man," he answered gravely, "though there is no certain telling. But he appears as an angel of light -- no marvel that, for he is the Prince of Thieves, which is as much as to say the Prince of Darkness."

"Then is it not true," I countered, "that the good have nothing to fear from him?"

But my betrothed looked harshly at me and said, "Do you not hear? He will steal everything."

I heard, and yet, I could not help but wonder.


From The Fairies' Pavane

This was California: it didn't rain again for months. When finally the desperate earth had seduced the clouds beyond resistance, Danaë looked out at midnight and saw the fairies performing a galliard beneath an awning of ferny leaves.

Sprightly and in triple time, their feet traced mystically intricate patterns through a carpeting of lavender petals. The fairy prince bowed his head to Danaë, beckoning her with his gaze to enter their circle.


From Wedding Song

The morning following, she stood with her skirts pulled up amid blue-green ripples and let the tongues of them twine around her ankles. She had never permitted them to caress her further; for "the god of the River," claimed the elders, "is unforgiving." But the song was too sweetly impassioned, surpassing the coarse ballads of mortal wooers that sweat and snore and smell of their last feedings. Little by little over the space of an hour, Sarai let herself be drawn in deeper to her knees.


From Of No Device

The sun flared suddenly behind him to reveal the fore-hooves of his horse of no colour nearly touching her toes. Had she thought him anything but the debris of her shattering faculties, she would have fainted from fright.

His chain-mail was obsidian-black, hard to focus on, as if not quite substantial. His visor was down, his hands gauntleted; Rose could see nothing of him but his shape to tell that he was a man. He bore no weapon unless it were one hidden, but he did bear a shield.

Not the Knight of the Snowflake, not the Knight of the Vine, nor the Knight of the All-Seeing Eye. His shield was black with no device upon it.


If you wish information about the publishing date and cost of Many Waters and Other Stories and how to acquire it, please E-mail me at the address below.


E-mail us at sangreal@jps.net

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