My short fantasy story, Paper Cuts, was published today in Devilfish Review. The story is about a young librarian Ninele. She uses her paper magic against goblin mercenaries besieging her city. Here is how the story starts.
“You’re to take care of the children,” the head librarian said.
A group of magic students huddled behind his back. The younger ones looked subdued and scared. The older ones glared at Ninele. They wanted to help protect their city from the goblin mercenaries. She did too. None of them wanted to hide in the library with her babysitting them. Unfortunately, neither the children nor Ninele could do much on the walls of their besieged city. The kids had yet to grow into their prospective powers, while her magic was small, confined to paper, no use on the walls either. It was better to keep them in the library, out of trouble, and she was the obvious choice to supervise them.
The cover image comes from one of my favorite artists, a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood movement, Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898).
I love Pre-Raphaelites, their bright colors and their often quirky themes. Unlike many artists before them, they didn’t concentrate their art on the Bible, nor on the Victorian life of their contemporary England. Their paintings tell stories that have nothing to do with religion or reality and everything to do with beauty. They painted Greek legends and illustrated medieval poetry. They paid tribute to Shakespeare and Dante. They were the fantasists of visual arts, and their imagery appeals to me, a fantasy writer.