You Understand

My horror short story, “You Understand,” appears in Villains and Vengenance: A Sirens Benefit Anthology.

This is definitely one of the darkest stories I’ve written, but I think it’s also entertaining, and well, vengeful! Your purchase goes toward supporting SirensCon, one of the best speculative fiction conferences out there, in my humble opinion. It celebrates the women of fantasy, both as characters and writers. Purchase the anthlogy as an ebook or in print on Amazon here or Barnes & Noble here.

Here are the first lines of “You Understand” to entice you…

From the shadow of a thatched eave, I wait for a little girl to come down the cobblestone alley. Fifteen years, I’ve been banished from my home world, my powers stripped from me by the deception of another. But today, with the help of this child, I will return to my wife Vlasta and our life that used to be. How sweet it will be to be reunited after being wrenched apart for so long! You understand such longing, don’t you?

It’s easy to tell when the girl begins her stroll through the passage abutting my tiny garden plot. She sings a song, the same every day about a merman who falls in love with a fisherwoman. To catch a glimpse, the merman swims too close and is hooked, inflicting a wound that won’t heal. The fisherwoman does not realize the damage she’s done as the merman sinks low into the waters, never to rise again. To the child, it is a nursery rhyme. To me, it is a cautionary tale.

And here is so photographic inspiration to set the mood for “You Understand”:

If you pick up Villains and Vengence, I hope “You Understand” will be, if not an enjoyable read, at least a satisfying one!