(here an intern at A Word with You Press appears to be truly bummed that the editor-in-chief wields his editorial sword the old fashioned way rather than relying on Dragon Speak)
Snow on the ground today, Literati
covering the ground like confectioner’s sugar all around the towers that are A Word with You Press. And speaking of sweet things, I was delighted to find the cyber post-person delivered a story from one of our favorite fable-ers, Shawna Smart. We haven’t had a story from her in a while, but just a reminder that she earned the respect of many and the ire of a few by winning our Cat Ass Trophy contest a while back. Welcome back, my dear!
Have you not yet entered for a chance to wine a date–oops!–win a date (what was I thinking???) with Kristine ROSE Grant? Phone date with the famed relationship goddess is only one of the prizes you can win in our A Dozen Roses from a Single Thorn: A Valentine’s Day Contest. Here be the rules that beg to be followed or broken:
And here is
Another Day in Paradise
by Shawna Smart
The Day of Roses and Wine appeared in good time.
I made my offering to the Goddess of Love, stopped to get my war braids chopped off, body sluiced clean, face scraped free of whiskers, and then I slew a troublesome dragon who’d pestered the main castle garden for a week.
Afterwards, my quivering legs threatened to fail after too many close ups of the great lizard’s fangs, each as long as me arms, and I plopped down on the closest garden bench, blowing out hasty breaths, and sobbing a bit for the ones that perished by my sword.
Catching a warm trickle of sweat racing for my unprotected eye with a sleeve corner, I accepted a liter of ice water from our groundskeeper and sucked it down as quickly as I dared.
Wouldn’t do to founder now, not when I couldn’t be sure I would not have to fight again in a moment. The incongruous carcass of the dragon I’d just killed lay in flagrant death in the center of the garden, its hot black blood dripping, creeping and pooling in smoking pools that ate with ferocious glee into the crafted surfaces of the ordered landscape.
I could see far down the path the princess, riding in the clean white saddle of a sleek steam horse bristling with wood, leather and shiny bits of chrome-flashed edges and spikes, snooping ahead with its sherbet orange solar-spark eye lamps, spearing questionable objects with brilliant probing finger lights.
She stopped a long moment just before she passed me, her face turned to the hulk of the smoking corpse lying on her tiled patio before moving on, with nary a glance for me, the hopeful slayer of an incredibly tough and nasty dragon.
Slapping irritably at the variety of biting flies swarming about after all that fuss and fury, I felt a deep sweep of mistrust for my best friend, who came hurrying along after seeing the end of my fight and the reaction of the lady I hoped to woo from the distant kitchens, wiping his pale freckled fingers on his grease-washed shirt.
He cleared his throat, looking at the mess before us and then at the empty path, me still sitting, now overheated, foolish, wet and bloody, and alone in the baking light of the sun.
“Well I am sorry,” he muttered, an embarrassed look clouding his face. “My dad swore that killing a dragon loosens the thigh strings of any maiden, but I guess it was only a rumor.”
The silence became something ponderous.
He grinned and offered me something clutched in a flour-spattered hand.
“Rose petal cookie?”
With a scream I launched myself at him, and we had a fine roll in the garden, among the stinging flies and the pools and black blood.
It was just another day in paradise.