Issue 46 of Albedo One is now available. It contains fiction by Liz Williams, Bruce McAllistair, Erika Viktor, Gary Every and Tom W. Jackson. I am proud to be included with my short story, “Grave Goods.”
It also features an interviews with Hugo Award-winning hard science fiction author Will McIntosh and horror author Jeffrey Thomas, as well as review columns by Juliet E. McKenna and George Anderson.
Cover art by Richard Wagner.
It’s available in pdf and will shortly be available in ebook (.mobi and .epub versions) and print.
Father had left grave goods to help Child. Her bow and arrows. A votive offering of his flint knife. Not the carved ceremonial one but the one he used everyday. His labour was in the edge that he ground and polished to keep it sharp.
Child got up. The burial chamber was spacious enough to accommodate a large gathering. Side chambers contained her ancestors’ bones, their flesh in various states of decay. Father said they’d help her.
The whole tribe would file into the tomb on the Solstice, down the long corridor that channelled the sun. They would commune with their history, bringing the remains into the central chamber. Child thought that she’d be greeted by bones that were full of light and song but was disappointed to see that, like Mother, they were empty shells.
Child traced out the patterns on the walls that the tribe had pecked out. There were the stories of the wind and rain. Of stars and sun. She knew which marks were her father’s.
You are the best of us, Father had said when he told them what they needed to do. His lips were grey as he spoke. You are my first and only child. You are our finest.
It was getting brighter inside the chamber. Child thought it was moonlight coming down the passageway. She was wrong. The light was already inside. The gods were here.
I owe a thank you to writer and archaeologist, Steve Toase, who directed me to some very useful text books on the neolithic period.
Steve’s fiction has appeared in Cabinet de Fees’ Scheherezade’s Bequest, Pantheon Magazine, Innsmouth Magazine, Jabberwocky Magazine, to name a few. He’s also been reprinted in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year Volume 6.
He does a flash fiction challenge at the end of each year- writing a piece each day for a month. If you want a treat, head over here, where he published them each week running up until the end of Dec 2015.