Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different...

Once upon a time I wrote fiction (mostly science fiction and fantasy) and I had a younger sister who was flattering enough to think that was cool. Now I write a blog, and my little sister is actually the cool one, the real writer. She writes mostly fantasy, some of it tinged with Catholic elements, and unlike I ever did, she actually gets paid for it.

Some of her stories are available online, via links on her website.

Readers might find the following particularly interesting:

[Note: For some reason the Coyote Wild site is very slow to load on some browsers, due to what appears to be a problematic stat counter link. Sorry for the Google cache link.]

"City of Angels" published in Coyote Wild, March 2008
I knew something was wrong as soon as I walked into the kitchen and saw Mamá making rice pudding. A crumpled plastic bag lay on the counter; I picked it up, smoothed it. Real California Raisins! Taste The Zing Of Sunshine!

"What's happening?" I asked, nervousness prickling my arms.

"Braid your hair and wash up," said Mamá. "It's almost done."

As I went to the bathroom to get some hair elastics, the prickle slid down from my arms to my stomach. The few times that I had eaten Mamá's pudding, my hair had been unbound.

When I got back to the kitchen, Mamá was spooning the rice pudding into a bowl. Her dark hair was already pulled back in a long braid; only a few wisps escaped around her face.

"Here." She set the bowl in front of me. "Eat."

"But I can't do magic with my hair --"

"It's not for magic. The pudding . . . dampens you. Covers you. Makes you less noticeable." Mamá gripped the back of her chair, knuckles white. "We're leaving. Los Ojos killed Peter, and I think he wants you."

Terror sheared through my stomach. Los Ojos was the most powerful lord in Los Angeles; cruelest too, if half the stories were true. [read the rest]

"I Have Heard the Angels Singing, Each to Each" published in Coyote Wild, August 2008
I found the angel at the ninety-nine cent store.

I'd grabbed canned corn, dried chiles, hand lotion, and Mexican hot chocolate, and I was examining the dish towels when I felt something like a faint whisper. I glanced across the aisle--and there it was, sitting among the figurines next to the poorly scented candles: a little plastic statuette of an angel, her face tilted upwards and her hands clasped over her chest.

She was painted in delicate pastels, except for the sickly smiling mouth, which was a garish lipstick red. Her wings were naked white plastic, her long, curling hair was pale yellow, and her swirling skirts were pink. She was like a hundred other tacky statues I'd seen over the years.

I couldn't look away.

The sensation of whispering got louder without ever becoming audible. As I studied the statue, I realized that the space around it was curved, beginning to fold in on itself, as it did around the Moebius strips outside our door. I frowned, trying to see farther, deeper--

"Hey." Thuy snapped her fingers in front of my face. "Earth to Maria. You ready to go?" [read the rest]

"More Full of Weeping Than You Can Understand" published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 10/07/2010
During the later part of the war, the government issued a pamphlet on how to recognize changelings. Violet read it (a green tinge of the features; propensity to cruelty) and laughed. The real signs had been far more pervasive, far less clear. Sometimes she thought she had only realized she wasn’t human when she was fourteen. Sometimes she thought she had always known.

The external, everyday things were always easy. She liked French, hated mathematics, and complained about her governess. She sailed toy boats with Thomas, bridled when he was patronizing, and once threw her oatmeal at him. She cried when a picnic was rained out, when she fell and scraped her knee, and when her governess disciplined her.

Other things were harder. None were inexplicable.

She did well at her piano lessons, but all music was only a string of notes to her. She supposed this was what Papa meant when he talked about his old tutor who was tone-deaf.

There were nights she climbed out her window into the garden because she could not bear to be inside another moment, and she could never go back in till she had danced herself breathless. Mama shook her head and said that Aunt Maisie, too, had been a tomboy.

She didn’t cry when her kitten or Grandmama died. She poked the kitten and she stood respectfully at the funeral, but both times she was curious, then bored. Thomas had once read her a poem that said hopeless grief was passionless. [read the rest]

"And Her Eyes Sewn Shut With Unicorn Hair" published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 7/14/2011
“Look, Zéphine!” Marie called. “A unicorn!”

Even though Zéphine knew what would happen, her heart still thumped with hope. She set down her spoon, then jerked her head up to see the breakfast room window where her little sister stood. But when she looked where Marie pointed, Zéphine saw only a gazebo whose white latticework was clogged with crimson roses.

“Isn’t it beautiful?” Marie whispered.

“Yes,” lied Zéphine. “Beautiful.”

Why should she hope to see a unicorn now, when she never had in all her life?

Marie untangled herself from the lace curtains. She was only twelve; baby fat still clung to the corners of her beaming face. “And on your nineteenth birthday, too! It’s a lucky sign—the unicorns will love your maiden dance tonight, I know they will.”

Zéphine sat back in her chair and looked at her little silver bowl. She didn’t want any more custard; the few mouthfuls she had already eaten hung heavy in her stomach.

Marie kept on chattering. “...and the suitors can start watching you dance for the unicorns next month. Philippe is first in line to try, right? He would make a good king.”

“Mother danced for nine men before Father.” Zéphine mashed the custard with her spoon.

“I wouldn’t like that.” Marie’s dark eyebrows drew together. “Nine men, all dead....” [read the rest]

1 comment:

mandamum said...

Way to sidetrack my entire day :) Wow--I sat down and read through "And Her Eyes Sewn Shut With Unicorn Hair" instead of doing my morning chores yesterday, and then chewed on it all day. Very intriguing--and a kind of fantastical "Gift of the Magi" too, at the end.

Thanks for sharing :)