by Samantha Henderson
read by C. S. E. Cooney
Originally featured in the Word Webber Press anthology of 2013, Allegories of the Tarot.
Last night I dreamed about the Painted Children: the Dragon Leviathan, the Boy made of Horses, and the girl, L’Etoile Flamboyante. In the dream, I was sitting at the edge of the cliff beside the ruins, not far from where I lie now, but I was straight and whole again, the tiger reclining beside me like an outsized housecat. The water at the foot of the cliff glistened in the starlight, and the Children were in a boat, little wider than a rowboat, looking up at me. The girl stretched out her arms, and I shifted as if to rise. The tiger gave me a lazy nudge. Not yet, it said, silently. We are still at the business of dying.
Samantha Henderson lives in Southern California by way of England, South Africa, Illinois and Oregon. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit and Weird Tales, and reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Science Fiction, Steampunk Revolutions and the Mammoth Book of Steampunk, as well as being podcast in Podcastle, Escape Pod, and The Drabblecast. She’s the author of the Forgotten Realms novels Heaven’s Bones and Dawnbringer, and is currently working on a novel based on her short story “Cinderella Suicide.”
C.S.E. Cooney is a Rhode Island writer, actor, poet, and singer-songwriter. She is the author of the Dark Breakers series: The Breaker Queen and The Two Paupers. “Witch, Beast, Saint” the first erotic fairy tale in her Witch’s Garden Series, can be found at Strange Horizons, while the second, The Witch in the Almond Tree is available for purchase on Amazon.
Cooney’s first short fiction collection Bone Swans is forthcoming with Mythic Delirium in July of 2015.
She recently started working as an audiobook narrator for Tantor Media, with Carol J Perry’s “Caught Dead Handed,” a Witch City mystery— Cooney’s first book-length narration—now available for purchase.
Thanks to a successful Indiegogo campaign, Cooney’s alternate personality, the imaginary rockstar Brimstone Rhine, is just about to hit the studio to record her first EP, “Alecto! Alecto!” Eight songs of Myth and Legend—Witches, Queens, Nymphs, Fiends—as you’ve never heard them sung before.