My short fantasy story Tail to Treasure was published in the November issue of the Bloodbond magazine. I received my complimentary copy of the paper magazine in the mail yesterday.
The story’s protagonist, Yanick, is a shapeshifter, but his other form is not anything glamorous, like a wolf or a tiger. No, Yanich is a monkey shifter. He lives in a city at the edge of the jungle, and his main sort of income derives from the lost treasures he finds in the jungle. Unfortunately, his occupation is somewhat illegal in the city, as he isn’t a member of the treasure hunters’ guild. He wants to become a member. That’s how his story starts:
Yanick slammed the door shut. “They wouldn’t let me in. The stupid snobs wouldn’t accept my application. They laughed in my face. They said I couldn’t carry my share in any expedition with this… twisted arm of mine. What do they know? Rude, ignorant rats. I could’ve led them to amazing riches, but no. Idiots.”
He breathed heavily. He wanted to use stronger words, condemning words, but his mother wouldn’t approve. His sisters were watching too. He swallowed the rest of his curses and plopped down on a kitchen bench, his fists still bunched. He wanted to pound something, preferably the smug fat face of the guild clerk who had rejected him, but the guild hall was half the city away. Yanick resorted to scowling.
His mother shook her head. “You applied to the treasure hunters’ guild, didn’t you?”
He growled a vague affirmative.
“Have some soup.” She ladled a huge portion of thick soup into his bowl and pushed it towards him. “I told you they wouldn’t accept you…”
I created the cover for this story, using a painting by Tethart Haag, a famous 18th century Dutch artist. Haag was a court painter to William V of Orange-Nassau and the director of various cultural institutions in The Hague. This particular painting seems to be custom-made for my story, even though it was painted almost 300 years ago. It even has a parrot, just like my story.