by M.K. Hutchins
read by Heath Miller
First published in Intergalactic Medicine Show #40
Being near Ingrid was the only good thing about living in a God-neglected frozen wasteland. Her face was round as the moon — a soft, pleasant face that suggested her cooking encouraged second helpings. Her face didn’t lie: light rye breads, sweet poached fruit, elk and wild onion stew that made my beard grow. Well, the bit of a beard I had. Ingrid always laughed and teased when she caught me finger-combing the handful of hairs sticking from my face. Her laugh — that was pure silver. For too long, she’d slaved away under Arbiter Elof’s guardianship. The day I signed a contract with Elof and became Ingrid’s betrothed was the happiest day of my life.
The next day was the worst.
M.K. Hutchins regularly draws on her background in archaeology when writing fiction. Her YA fantasy novel Drift was both a Junior Library Guild Selection and a VOYA Top Shelf Honoree. Her short fiction appears in IGMS, Podcastle, Daily Science Fiction, and elsewhere. A long-time Idahoan, she now lives in Utah with her husband and four children. Find her at on the web at www.mkhutchins.com and on Twitter @mkhutchins.
Heath Miller is an actor from Perth, Western Australia. Sometimes found in theatres, recording studios, comedy clubs, television sets, convention centres and YouTube videos – Heath currently finds himself living on an island off the coast of Maine with two improbably large cats, one improbably large dog, and a brace of regular sized chickens. You can follow him on twitter at @zaboots.