by Thoraiya Dyer
read by Pamila Payne
A PodCastle Original!
Hoping I’d steal their souls instead of hers, my birth mother hid me in a chimney-borer’s home.
I never did harm any of that happy family. They are peacefully dead of old age, by now. That’s something, at least, to be proud of. Even if I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to skin a god.
It took a decade – far too long – for me to learn that Orfro wasn’t really my father. If golden jaguars could sometimes throw black cubs in a litter, I reasoned, why couldn’t yellow-haired people make black-haired babies? I hoped I’d get to look more like Orfroas I grew older. I was mesmerised by the white-blond curls, not just on his head, but across his shoulders and down his back. When he bent over to bore chimneys, the curls could be seen continuing on, disappearing between his buttocks into the loose, woven trousers he wore.
Thoraiya Dyer is an Aurealis and Ditmar Award-winning, Sydney-based science fiction and fantasy writer. Her short story collection, ‘Asymmetry’, and time-travel pirate novella ‘The Company Articles of Edward Teach’ are available from Twelfth Planet Press, while the first book in her ‘Titan’s Forest’ fantasy trilogy is forthcoming from Tor. Thoraiya is an archer and a lapsed veterinarian. Follow @ThoraiyaDyer or peruse thoraiyadyer.com.
Pamila Payne is a Los Angeles writer and voice actor. Her noir horror, vintage crime and drama can be found at vintagevice.com. Her most recent work was included in Exiles: An Outsider Anthology. She is available to hire for Audiobook narrating and all things spoken word.