«

»

May 11

A teaser from The Bone Chime Song

Light Touch Paper Stand Clear is due for release in June — it will hopefully be launched at Continuum in Melbourne. Edited by Edwina Harvey and Simon Petrie, and published by Peggy Bright Books, I was intrigued by its concept from the very beginning: “Nothing happens without some initial impetus or spark. But it’s also impossible to predict exactly what will happen once that spark is struck, that match lit. Will the rocket shoot skywards? Will the dragon shoot flames from its mouth if provoked by one more jab from the rusty sword? Will the fireworks display appease, or at least distract, the ruthless, jaded emperor?”

What is the spark? What happens once it’s struck?

I’m curious to see how my fellow writers have been inspired by this, I can only imagine the variety of stories we’re going to see in this anthology.

‘The Bone Chime Song’ is my answer. It’s part dark-fantasy / murder- mystery, part doomed romance. There are Necromancers, windchimes, dead Gods and mangroves. The spark? Well, I think there are two. There’s a murder, and the lengths one character will go to solve it. But there’s a second spark, personal and private, the slow-burn of a love kept hidden over many, many years.

What happens once these sparks are struck?… Well, here’s a bit of a taste.

First, the Song.

Those bones were singing before Casimir brought them to me. I heard their jumbled and discordant notes through wood and calico lining, through security spells and spirit wards, as far away as the centre of town. I appreciated the warning; it gave me time to compose myself before I opened the shop to him.

He stood a little too straight, dark waistcoat emblazoned with an eye in gold thread, crisp white shirtsleeves rolled up to his elbows in the heat. His loosely clubbed hair was iron grey, and the Summoner scars across his cheeks stood out as though they were fresh.

Five years since I last saw him, and he had aged far more than he should have. The war was long over and he was married now, with three apparently beautiful children. Not that I’d ever seen them—I had no desire to put myself through that particular torture. What right did he have to come here now, looking so tired and old?

“Casimir,” I said, stepped back to let him enter, and prided myself on the steadiness of my tone.

“Zvonimir.” He entered stiffly, with none of his usual sharp soldier’s step. “I come requesting help.”

I jammed the shop door open, and was surprised to see his dark Watchman’s carriage waiting, surrounded by half a dozen or so of his UnderWatch Necromancers. They scowled back at me, white robes bright in the midday sun. What could their fearless Watchman—war hero, powerful Summoner and wholesome family man—want with a poor, middle-aged craftsman like me?

3 comments

  1. Rabia

    Awesome!!

    Why haven’t read this story??

    1. Joanne

      Urm… Probably because I thought you deserved a break! :)

      1. Rabia

        That entire antho sounds interesting. Do link when it comes out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>