Maia is a young woman with only a small gift: the ability to watch others from afar. To cement a treaty between two clans, she married Arras, a young man she’s known most of her life. But when her brother comes to visit, he reveals a shameful secret that leaves Maia questioning everything she believes about her husband. Now she must use her small gift to determine the truth of her brother’s claim…and decide whether to stay at her husband’s side or flee him.
This story has never before been released. It’s not part of either my Golden City setting, or the setting for Dreaming Death.
This story is part of a third world in which I have published a few stories already, although to the more casual reader, they probably seem completely unrelated. (The Nature of Demons, The Arranged Marriage, and The Stains of the Past.)
(It might help to know that the four stories are separated over the course of about 500 years, and that in the countries of Jenear and Galas, most people with an unusual gift can trace their ancestry back to either Arras or Menhas—for whom the Menhirre people are named, Menhirre literally meaning “Menhas’ children”.)
This story has traveled a long road to publication, has waited on different editors’ desks, often more than 100 days—and once over 420 days!—but has never quite found a home. All the same, I’ve always believed that it was worth keeping. So I’m happy to say it’s finally out.
Thanks to my editor/formatter, Rick Fisher at EQP Books, who not only made the text look good, but spiffed up the cover as well. And a special thanks to Sam Hidaka, who never quit believing in this little story…I appreciate all your input along the way on this one.
*Also, if you’re a reviewer of short fiction, I’d be happy to email you a copy (of either kindle or nook format), just let me know in comments!