Rated R: Contains some Disturbing Imagery. It’s art!
Nor the Moonlight
by Andrew Penn Romine
I sat on a stool at the Café de Lune that last night in Paris, gulping _marc_ and sewing my right arm back together below the elbow with a needle and some of the last of the _fil vitalitié_. The surgical thread glimmered like quicksilver in the dim electrics of the café, and the bloody flaps of muscle and flesh of my severed arm knitted together as the healing magic did its work. Sensation returned to the tips of my fingers like the buzzing of bees, and I flexed them into a fist.
The robber had burst into my café waving his knife, surprising me as I locked up for the night. But he’d made the error of assuming I was just another veteran of the Great War, wrapped in a fisherman’s net of scars. He didn’t know I’d already died once before, that I had been raised from the charnel fields of Compiègne gifted with the heart of a bull and the sinewy limbs of dead men.
His body cooled in the cellar as rain sheeted the cobblestones. I traced the ancient gouges on the wooden counter, rubbing feeling back into my right hand. Chill wind rattled under the door, and I regretted the killing. Most of the desperate men loitering along the Rue Daguerre in the dark hours were afraid of me. This man must have been a recent refugee from the war-poisoned countryside.
A shadow appeared at the door, and for a moment I feared police. Tatters of the Central Commune’s authority still held sway within the city, although the horrors of the Great War had shattered the power of France’s People’s Republic. So much for Lenin’s promises of aid. France languished, and Paris with it.
About the Author
Andrew Penn Romine is a writer and animator living in Seattle. When he’s not wrangling words, robots, cavemen, or dragons, he dabbles in craft cocktails and sequential art.
A graduate of the Clarion West workshop, his fiction appears online at Lightspeed Magazine, Paizo and Crossed Genres as well as in the anthologies Fungi, After The Fall, What Fates Impose, By Faerie Light, Coins of Chaos, and Help Fund My Robot Army. You can find his full list of publications at the Bibliography link.
About the Narrator
Cheyenne Wright is the color artist on the Hugo Award winning graphic novel series Girl Genius. A freelance illustrator of many fine table-top projects; Like “Deadlands Noir”, and the “Professor Elemental” edition of the “Pairs” card-game. He is NOT the Lord of a subterranean colony of Mole-people bent on world subjugation. Such claims are libelous and unfounded. As is the ground beneath those who repeat them. [You have been warned sun-sucking dirt walkers]. More info about Cheyenne’s current plans for a better world [all of them… better worlds] can be found at www.ArcaneTimes.com.