Sunday, March 08, 2009

I have a story up on Southern Fried Weirdness for you. Unfortunately, it's the last issue of this zine that fills a niche unlike any other. Southern speculative fiction. Here's wishing T. J. McIntyre, the editor, the best of luck in his future endeavors and I'm hopeful he'll bring the zine back in some form or another, perhaps an anthology.

"Chestnut and Mountain Magnolia" is a "smashed" (multiple source elements smashed together) Appalachian fairy tale. Southern fiction, particularly the Appalachian inspired pieces, lends itself rather well to speculative and magically realistic stories. One of the source prompts for the story was the song, "The Wind and Rain," a haunting and very old murder ballad. You may know it from the Grateful Dead cover of it. Add animism, stir and voila. I hope you enjoy it.

After the blazing leaves fell to the forest floor and toads burrowed deep in cold mud and birds fell mute, he entered the mountain woods to set his traps and snares. In the lean-to shack, pushed against the side of a cliff where Creek tripped beneath Mountain, Joban the Trapper slept.

Perhaps silly Creek, with her gossiping babble told them. Everyone knew she couldn't keep a secret and carried tales both sour and sweet to ears that could hear (Water carrying Sound on her hip as she does). She also carried other things when she fought with Sky and sometimes Rain, howling and screaming, growing grim and foaming in rage--not herself. Perhaps they saw Joban as his boots broke the rime, seeking blood spreading in snow where his traps found their mark. Perhaps Winter Sun cleaved Sky, glanced off Joban's eyes showing the line of his jaw and the set of his brow. (Read the entire story...)

Happy Sunday!


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