Twelve Drowned RosesThey are waiting for him in the water.
He can see their faces – pale and fish-bitten, so swollen with water that the tide might slough them from their skulls at any moment. Their eyes are dark and hollow, but he can see the emotions swirling in their depths: love and lust and loneliness, despair, longing. They claw at him with rotted hands. Always they stay below the surface of the water; never do they reach out into the air.
He looks from one waterlogged face to another, naming them. Emma, Jamie, Kathryn, Elsie – little Elsie – she was his first, in her fluttery white dress. He remembers the flowers she was holding, roses in pale yellow and white. The petals fluttered about her in the breeze – now her dress is fluttering beneath the waves, ragged and torn, and her little mouth forms his name in silence.
She was his first, and an accident. He had never meant for it to happen. But it happened all the same; and she looked so lonely there, a single white rose burie
"Twelve Drowned Roses" was one of those stories I wrote with no plan and no idea what I was doing, the consequence of giving up - it wasn't too near the midnight deadline yet, but it was late and I was tired and staying up later wouldn't have helped any - and, as such, I was very surprised at how well it turned out (not to mention the positive response it got). It's a nice creepy one, and LushBunnie's reading style works perfectly for it. Do give it a listen, and check out the rest of her channel!
And there's a creepy doll in the background!
(You can see LushBunnie's journal about this here: Twelve Drowned Roses by G. Deyke)
I haven't been posting much to dA lately, but things are happening in the shadows. I am full of Secret News which, for now, is going to have to remain secret. Suffice it to say that the paid writing gig I mentioned a while back is progressing well (I'm actually nearly finished with my part there), and I'm really looking forwards to the day when I can stop being all cryptic about it.
Unfortunately, prioritising that has meant having to skip out on a few other opportunities: notably neurotype's sci-fi Adaptation contest (Adaptation: A DA Lit Contest). It's in the judging period right now (we've all missed this one, unless you've already entered ), but you can have a peek through the entries here while we wait for the results. Edit: The results were posted shortly after I wrote this. Here they are: RESULTS - Adaptation: A DA Lit Contest
If you're interested in opportunities that haven't yet passed you by, FlashFictionMonth's current Flash Prompt (Flash Prompt #15 - March 2018) runs through the end of April and promises some interesting fantasy stories; and projecteducate's Opposites contest (All Mediums Contest: Opposites) offers a chance to look back at your old work and do something completely different with it.
While we're at it, here are a handful of good literature opportunities off dA:
Wonderbox publishing is holding a competition for broadly accessible digital fiction in English or Welsh; deadline is March 15th. See more infos here.
National Flash Fiction Day (they say national, and are UK-based, but accept international entries) is accepting entries for both an anthology (500 words; theme: food) and a micro-fiction competition (100 words at maximum). Deadlines are March 31st and 17th respectively.
The Shadow Booth wants your weird eerie fiction up until March 31st. More infos here.
Sci-Fi London is holding a 48-hour competition for short films and flash fiction on April 7th-9th (requires advance registration; accepts international entries). I participated last year ("The Storm in the Teacup") and was pretty happy with my entry! It's like FFM, only with double the time and double the available wordcount.
Galli Books is looking for fiction, poetry and nonfiction about speculative masculinities, up through April 15th. More infos here, and note that this one looks really cool.
...Yeah, my monitor is kind of plastered with sticky notes right now.
"Errant" by flatw00ds explores a concept which, honestly, I can't believe isn't more common in fantasy writing: arcane contamination. It also features some excellent second-person narration.
ErrantIt started when you recovered from your illness.
Or perhaps when you got sick in the first place, or…well, really it began the day you first picked up sword and shield again. Not that you’d have changed that: life as a knight is the only thing you ever wanted. It was—it is, it still is—your honor to defend the folk of the kingdom. To hunt down the unclean things that steal through the dark. It’s a difficult task; the forces of the crown are spread thin these days, and you’re the only appointed knight in the surrounding villages. With the increasing reports of witches and night things about the borders, you’ve been overworked ever since you took the post.
How long has it been? Shit, about a decade. Too long and with too little rest.
It was no wonder that you fell ill. Three weeks were spent wracked with fever and shakes, but hey, it was the first vacation you’d had in years. Little pins and needles skittered across your muscles at n
"FFM 9 - Homeric Snub" by Vocable was written for FFM back in 2015, but I don't think I ever featured it. I should have, though. I really should have. It deserves it.
"Dragon skeleton: when fantasy becomes reality" by Exifia is pretty much just straight-up awesome.
Thank you, and happy spring/fall/whatever you have in the tropics!