Rated R for strong language.
Seeking Captain Random
by Vylar Kaftan
Dreams tell you what you really believe, deep down. But sometimes it takes a while before you understand them.
“When I climbed the hill of bones, the shaman was waiting for me,” Darren said, stirring Nutrasweet into his herbal tea. “Except now he was a giant rat. Like ten feet tall.”
Darren’s always told me about his dreams. Ever since he quit his office job to write comic books full time, his dreams have gotten weirder. I figure he’s really dreaming about how to pay the rent next month, though I can’t see what the giant rat has to do with anything. I was probably more worried about Darren’s rent than he was, even though we weren’t roommates anymore.
Around us, the coffee shop was nearly empty. We sat at our usual table–the four-seater with room for my wheelchair. Darren’s backpack and bike helmet occupied the extra chair. The late-September sunlight stretched through the window like it wasn’t ready to leave. I asked, “So did the rat-shaman have the sword ready for you like he’d promised?”
About the Author
Vylar Kaftan writes speculative fiction of all genres, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, and slipstream. She won a 2013 Nebula Award for her novella “The Weight of the Sunrise”, as well as a 2013 Sidewise Award for Short-Form Alternate History. She was also nominated for a 2010 Nebula Award for her short story “I’m Alive, I Love You, I’ll See You in Reno.”
Her stories have appeared in Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Asimov’s, and Clarkesworld. Her work has been reprinted in Horror: The Best of the Year, honorably mentioned in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and shortlisted for the WSFA Small Press Award.
A graduate of Clarion West, she’s volunteered for that group as well as the Little Owls mentoring program for young writers. She’s a member of SFWA, Codex, Broad Universe, and the Carl Brandon Society. In 2011, she founded FOGcon, a new literary-themed science fiction and fantasy convention in the San Francisco Bay Area. She blogs at VylanKaftan.com.
She lives with her husband Shannon in northern California. Her hobbies include modern-day temple dancing and preparing for a major earthquake. Her favorite color is all of them. She prefers the term “differently sane.”
About the Narrator
Laura Hobbs works in infosec by day and is a random crafter by night. Twitter is her social media of choice, and she despises the word “cyber”. When asked nicely, she sometimes reads things for people on the internet.