The Year of Silent Birds

The law says a petitioner can wait to see the sovereign. But in the Year of Thorns, a clever High Steward had ruled that food and drink could not be brought into the petition halls. So most vigils do not last long. But the dead have no need of food and drink. For six days, I waited, unmoving.

I could see the game-pieces in motion. All I had to do was let Darren’s plan--or the Steward’s plan, whosever it was--play out.

I’d been out to see the trains' footprints, which were like someone had stamped a table into the sand.  They led off into the desert, leaving a trail in the scrub almost wide enough to drive a cart along.  I thought I heard a steam whistle calling from out in the chaparral, wailing in the twilight like a coyote.  “Who would make a train with feet?”

I missed all the excitement the day the trains walked away.
Audio Fiction Podcast:
Whistler’s Grove

Podcast: Download (Duration: 28:16 — 19.41MB)

The washed-out sky and black indifferent trees blur as I cough out the fire within me.
From the Archives:
Silk and Shadow
I felt scars under her silk that my fingers did not remember.