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.
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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.