PodCastle 247: The Three Feats of Agani

The Three Feats of Agani

by Christie Yant

A girl sits cross-legged in the dirt before the unlit pyre, her face dotted with yellow clay and her dark hair unbound. The girl has just seen her ninth summer. The man on the pyre is her father. The old woman at her side, bent and gray, is no relation.

The girl does not cry. She looks at the pyre with coal-bright eyes, her jaw set, her fists clenched. The pyre is covered in the flowers of the season: purple, blue, and yellow. Their scent is carried on the breeze. She fidgets with the curled edge of her tunic as the aurochs horn sounds in mourning, and she knows she will never enjoy the scent of summer flowers again.

The three of them—the girl, the old woman, and the corpse—sit in silence while the sun traces its slow arc across the sky. The girl knows that this silence is expected of her. She is satisfied with it, because if she is not silent then she will scream. She does not know the right word for the anger she feels, the rage and wanting in her heart that threatens to burst from her chest and lay waste the entire settlement and everyone in it, seek out the men who ambushed and murdered her father. There is a word for it, but it is taboo to her people, and never expressed.

If she knew the right word, she would say that what she wants is vengeance.

About the Author

Christie Yant

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Christie Yant writes and edits science fiction and fantasy on the central coast of California, where she lives with a dancer, an editor, two dogs, three cats, and a very small manticore.

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About the Narrator

Stephanie Malia Morris

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Stephanie is a graduate of the 2017 Clarion West Writers Workshop, recipient of the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Award, and a 2019 Kimbilio Fellow. Her short fiction has appeared in FIYAHApex Magazine, Nightmare, and Pseudopod. She has narrated short fiction for the Escape Artists podcasts, Uncanny, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. You can find her online at stephaniemaliamorris.com or on Twitter at @smaliamorris.

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