I’m excited to announce that “Hobgoblin,” my flash fiction take on an old fairy tale trope, appears in Whigmaleeries & Wives’ Tales from Jayhenge Publishing! This anthology, which just released last week, is a collection of over 400 pages of new fairy tale takes – or retellings of lost knowledge, if you’d like. 😉 You can purchase it here at Amazon, in ebook or paperback formats. Here’s the backcover blurb, and a little bit of the introduction, which I quite like:
Superstitions, Legends, Folklore and Old Wives’ Tales–where do they come from? How did they get started? What’s the “real” reason we throw spilled salt over our shoulder or avoid stepping on a crack? What were the old women really afraid of when someone broke a mirror? Delve into the imagination and enjoy our theories!
Knowledge once, was tough to come by.
Like anything of value, various entities have tried to control it, hoard it, keep the rabble from using said knowledge, whether it was how to splint a broken leg or how to best take care of the crops. When writing was developed, keeping knowledge bound became harder in some ways, but humans have been around far longer than the written word. Before the written word, knowledge had to be passed through memory by the spoken word.
And few things retain knowledge like stories. Wives’ tales, folklore, mythology; all of these make up the first FAQ of humanity, a knowledge base that didn’t respond to search terms or limiters, but characters and plot…
Its appearance in the Whigmaleeries & Wives’ Tales anthology is “Hobgoblin’s” second printing — the story was a runner-up for the Fall 2017 WOW! Women on Writing Flash Fiction contest, and it was published by WOW! Women on Writing in February 2018. Here are “Hobgoblin’s” first few lines to entice you to make a purchase:
Hobgoblin, they name me. The word’s consonance fills me with venom. If squeezed together on the page, the letters would ooze disgust: hob. . . gob . . . lin. It’s a corruption of my time-honored service and an insult to my squat and sturdy frame. To call me that and wonder why I torment them? I feel the evidence is plain.
And some photographic mood-setting for the tale…
I was inspired to write “Hobgoblin” for a prompt for Saturday Night Special, an ongoing open mic series. The prompt was “heroes and villains,” and this poetic, somewhat nostalgic hobgoblin character came to mind. I went for a hobgoblin because they provide a rougher canvas than most fae creatures, not being quite as well-established in our communal zeitgeist. I knew I wanted to play with a character that did not consider itself a villain, but found that it could not endure the unkindess of others without giving in to their perceptions.
I hope you will read and enjoy “Hobgoblin” in Whigmaleeries & Wives’ Tales! I’m looking forward to this anthology greatly myself, as I love the topic. Plus, I need to figure out what a whigmaleerie is…