Now Available: The Horns




It is the year 1625, in Cartagena, and nothing matters more to Don Santiago Alvarez de Armias than his honor.

When he discovers his wife has betrayed him with another, he kills her in a rage and receives a curse in return. The next morning he awakes to discover horns upon his head.

Strive though he might, he cannot rid himself of them. And so begins a journey to discover the person who can.

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In A Flash: The Prince and the Unicorn

When the Prince of the Seventh Sea and the Lands Beyond the Far Isthmus of Shadows was born, people throughout the realm celebrated. The feasts and celebrations lasted eight days, for the King was considered one of the wisest to ever to rule in those lands, and the people knew that he would raise a son who was just and fair. The King and Queen wept upon seeing the child for the first time, for they had suffered many tribulations in their efforts to have children and they had never seen a baby so beautiful.

That beautiful baby grew into a handsome youth, whose smile seemed to set the birds in the trees to song and make calm the wildest of beasts. He was a brilliant student, and his father spared no expense in bringing tutors from beyond the far reaches of the kingdom, so that the Prince might learn all there was to know of the world. As he grew older, the Prince also became renowned for his exploits. He ran the fastest, climbed the highest, leapt the farthest, and, in general, bested all his companions in whatever game they played.

All in all, the Prince seemed extraordinary, with everyone agreeing that he possessed all the necessary abilities to be a fine King.

When he came of age, his father told him it was time to find a bride and said he could choose any woman in the land. Word was sent out across the realm, even into the depths of the Isthmus of Shadows, that the Prince would receive any lady who would consent to be his wife.

Read the rest at Circumambient Scenery.

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Fiction: The Door

No one could recall when last the door had been opened. Lifetimes, some said. Centuries, claimed others. There were those in fact who stated, with an air of quiet authority, that it never had been, that it had always remained closed. All agreed that no one alive had opened the door, or had known of anyone who had. All they knew was the stories their parents told, which their parents had told them, back through time where the collective memory became misted and cloudy.

Philosophers would often argue about the door, launching into great disquisitions on their theories surrounding why the door had or had not to have been opened. There were even those who said that the door should be opened, for stories were nothing more than stories, and the true nature of the door could only be discerned by seeing what lay behind it. None of them, of course, volunteered to bear witness to what was beyond that terrible threshold, even those who professed to believe that nothing was there to be found.

Most, though, did not give in to such foolish and idle thinking. The stories told were so uniformly terrible, and all so similar, that there simply had to be some truth to what was said. It could not be otherwise, no matter what some radical thinkers might claim. Most importantly, no one wanted to be the one to discover they were in fact true, for the horrors described were so awful there could be no encountering them without a life being changed irrevocably.

Though no one would dare to so much as approach the door, to say nothing of putting a hand upon the handle, or even pretending to turn it, there came a time when the leading citizens of the day determined that someone needed to be set to watch it, to ensure that no one made the mistake of opening it. Two men were set to the task, both of them considered to be honest and upstanding, the finest among them. One took the daylight hours and one took the night.

See the rest at Circumambient Scenery. A new story will be published there every Thursday.