The Chimney-Borer and the Tanner
by Thoraiya Dyer
Hoping I’d steal their souls instead of hers, my birth mother hid me in a chimney-borer’s home.
I never did harm any of that happy family. They are peacefully dead of old age, by now. That’s something, at least, to be proud of. Even if I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to skin a god.
It took a decade – far too long – for me to learn that Orfro wasn’t really my father. If golden jaguars could sometimes throw black cubs in a litter, I reasoned, why couldn’t yellow-haired people make black-haired babies? I hoped I’d get to look more like Orfroas I grew older. I was mesmerised by the white-blond curls, not just on his head, but across his shoulders and down his back. When he bent over to bore chimneys, the curls could be seen continuing on, disappearing between his buttocks into the loose, woven trousers he wore.
About the Author
Thoraiya Dyer is an Aurealis and Ditmar Award-winning, Sydney-based science fiction writer and lapsed veterinarian. Her work has appeared in Clarkesworld, Apex, Cosmos, Analog and various US and Australian anthologies. Four of her original stories are collected in “Asymmetry,” available from Twelfth Planet Press. Her first novel, “Crossroads of Canopy,” a big fat fantasy set in a magical rainforest, was released by Tor in January 2017.