A few days ago, my fantasy short story Clerk or Hero was published in Aurora Wolf magazine. Like many of my stories, this one takes place in an imaginary world, populated by witches, undines, valiant warriors, and resourceful clerks. And, of course, magic. Below is the short excerpt from the beginning of the story.
After a long, terrifying slide, Tiero’s feet touched the ground. The thin rope tying him slithered down and coiled at his feet. Only his weight kept the loop tight for his involuntary descent. As soon as he was down, the witches dropped the rope.
High above him, at the mouth of the shaft he had just been lowered through, one witch sniggered, invisible behind a bent in the chute. “Bon appetite, boys!” Her mocking cackle drifted down the shaft.
“Harpies!” he shouted back.
Nobody replied to his toothless insult. The voices babbling far over his head trickled to nothing, leaving Tiero alone in the dimly lit stone well. No, not quite alone. He had a comrade in misery, a young officer, slumped unconscious against the shaft wall, the wound in his leg bleeding sluggishly. They were both going to die here.
To read more, check out the full story here.
The editor of the magazine created his own enigmatic cover for the story, and I created the one you see above. I used a painting attributed to the Italian artist Parmigianino (1503-1540).