PodCastle 411: Hands of Burnished Bronze

by Rebecca Schwarz

read by Cheyenne Wright

A PodCastle Original!

“Tell me you have found a spell to lift this curse, old friend.”

What passes between us is many things, but even after all these years, I wouldn’t call it friendship. His haunted eyes search mine from under a brow etched with lines. His beard now streaked with gray. Years ago, when the King swept into my homeland and took me into his service it was with the understanding that I would not leave it alive. In those days, I thought myself a far better magician than I was. It was King Hroth that made me the powerful wizard that I am. Every town and castle he captured, he ordered his men to bring him the resident magician. Some were renowned, others little more than tricksters or court fools. He personally tortured all of them with me by his side to claim the secrets they divulged.

I have no good answer for him, so I remain silent.

“I made you,” he growls low in my ear. “Find a way out of this or I will end you.”

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Rated PG-13.

By day, Rebecca Schwarz is a mild-mannered editorial assistant for a scientific journal, by night she writes science fiction and fantasy stories. Her work has appeared in Interzone, Bourbon Penn, and Daily Science Fiction. She is currently writing her first novel. You can read about her writing life at www.curiousworlds.blogspot.com.

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.

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