My humorous fantasy story “Love Song of the Wendigo” is out in the Dark Cheer: Cryptids Emerging anthology (silver edition). The call was for unique twists on cryptozoological and folkloric entities.
The story is told from the perspective of the titular monster. He’s been away a long time, and when he’s summoned after the passage of so much time, he finds the modern world to be rather different from what he’s been used to:
Wendigo blinked his flaming eyes in confusion. He was facing a cabal of oddly dressed men and a shriveled dancing old woman in the strangest forest he had ever seen. The floor was hard and shiny like volcanic rock. The trees didn’t smell like trees, and surrounding each not-tree were glass tables. There was a waterfall, but it seemed to be coming from (and going to) nowhere: the frothy foam washed rubbery-smelling rocks above a frosted, roofless tavern bar lit by magical, heatless lamps.
Jimmy said to Wendigo, “Vicky made Eddie promise that neither he nor any other person in his employ would ever harm me. That’s why he summoned you to do his dirty work. You’re not a person.”
“Of course I’m not a person,” Wendigo said, deeply offended.
Jimmy sighed and for a moment, hope flickered in his eyes. “Vicky and I are in love still. Eddie’s bodyguards don’t allow me to get close to her, but we sneak notes to each other by slot machines or beneath drinks. Eddie hates it. Hates me because I remind him of the days when he was nothing. Hates me enough that he summoned a Wendigo.” For a moment, Jimmy rubbed his chin. “Couldn’t you kill him instead?”
“You have been declared as my target.”
“But Eddie is wicked!”
“I care not for your human emotions! Since the ice retreated and the great beasts died, I have failed but once! It shall never happen again!” He pounded the bar with a taloned fist. The bottles shivered in their racks; two wine glasses, hanging like bats from the rack, kissed and hummed out a lonesome note.
I’m aware of my reputation as a writer of very dark fiction, but “Love Song of the Wendigo” was written with a smile on my lips. I hope it brings smile to you as well. We could use more smiles.
With my book Redspace Rising due out in September, I’ve received the cover art, and I couldn’t be happier. Here’s the reveal:
It’s clear that the artist really read the book, because there’s a lot of detail in there that could only be gleaned from familiarity with the story. Symbolically and literally, it expresses what’s going on in the novel.