by Samantha Henderson
Last night I dreamed about the Painted Children: the Dragon Leviathan, the Boy made of Horses, and the girl, L’Etoile Flamboyante. In the dream, I was sitting at the edge of the cliff beside the ruins, not far from where I lie now, but I was straight and whole again, the tiger reclining beside me like an outsized housecat. The water at the foot of the cliff glistened in the starlight, and the Children were in a boat, little wider than a rowboat, looking up at me. The girl stretched out her arms, and I shifted as if to rise. The tiger gave me a lazy nudge. Not yet, it said, silently. We are still at the business of dying.
About the Author
Samantha Henderson lives in Southern California by way of England, South Africa, Illinois and Oregon. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit and Weird Tales, and reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Science Fiction, Steampunk Revolutions and the Mammoth Book of Steampunk, as well as being podcast in Podcastle, Escape Pod, and The Drabblecast. She’s the author of the Forgotten Realms novels Heaven’s Bones and Dawnbringer, and is currently working on a novel based on her short story “Cinderella Suicide.“
About the Narrator
C.S.E. Cooney is the author of World Fantasy Award-winning Bone Swans: Stories. Her short novel “The Twice-Drowned Saint” is included in Mythic Delirium’s anthology The Sinister Quartet. Her forthcoming novel Saint Death’s Daughter will be out with Rebellion in Spring of 2022. Other work includes Tor.com novella Desdemona and the Deep and a poetry collection: How to Flirt in Faerieland and Other Wild Rhymes, which features her Rhysling Award-winning “The Sea King’s Second Bride.” Her short fiction and poetry can be found in Jonathan Strahan’s anthology Dragons, Ellen Datlow’s Mad Hatters and March Hares: All-New Stories from the World of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Rich Horton’s Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, and elsewhere.