The Sunset Call

I happen to be working on something. A small collection of creepy stories.

In every fairy tale there is a cost.
Lost princesses.
Hidden monsters.
Cursed blades.
Even today.
Even in the cold and logical Now.

Here for you are a handful of stories showing the prices of wishes when the sunset calls.

Back Cover: The Sunset Call

I am fascinated by what happens when the world goes wrong, when things you assume end up falling in the face of a wider world. And oh, how the world is wide. The inspiration for this anthology originally came from an argument: a bunch of us devout, roleplaying folks arguing the ins and outs of werewolf etiquette.

Yes. That’s a thing.

Thanks to the brilliance of Bill Bridges, the author / designer of Werewolf: The Apocalypse, and his team, he took a set of ancient legends about people slapping on a coat of fur and running around in the wild into an eco-horror fable with a rich culture and heritage for geeks like me to dive into.

The argument started with a set of rules that the culture was based on, the ‘litany’ of traditions that made a society of hyper-aggressive shapeshifters actually manage to work together with some semblance of sanity.

After a particularly loud debate re: the breeding habits of werewolves (yep, that’s a thing too), I realized that the folks I was arguing with had never had a child.

Not that I’ve had a child. It’s difficult for a biologically male human to get pregnant without some serious shenanigans. I’m not Loki, after all. (side note: seriously, if you haven’t heard the story of how Odin got his magic horse, put this down and pick up Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology book right now).

However I’ve been there for the birth of all my children and I’ve got a pretty firm grasp on how it all works. This developed into the the story “No Love for Emily” which began as an exploration on how it’s a really poor idea to have a tiny, clawed, half-human / half-wolf scratching away in your belly, especially if it starts kicking in the 2nd trimester.

Unfortunately, my mind didn’t stop there. It starts pulling in bits from Rosemary’s Baby and The Masters of Horror series. It began to inform me of the ways witches and warlocks would try to impress one another (“my charm’s better than your charm!”).

Or how would modern day demons could find ways to impregnate people who, thanks to the wealth of information available on the internet, would be leery of mysterious strangers or contracts with small print or luscious apparitions in a dream.

Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of demons, barring the ones out of Princess Mononoke (and that barely counts). Too cut and dry for me: good, evil; choose one or the other. I started thinking even older.

There are a wealth of fairy tales you never want to read your child.

Trust me on this.

That opened me up to a flood of stories. There are tales of the Others going so far back into pre-history, it predates the spoken word. There are only a few common rules. The Kindly Ones copy us (at least our traditions), they are generous, they are capricious, and they do not tolerate fools.

The simpleminded are not fools. The boors are, the liars, the cheats, the ungrateful; those are fools.

Sometimes the Others’ agenda is of great benefit to the people they are interacting with. Sometimes not. The stories in The Sunset Call collection deal with the darker side of those interactions. For the most part, they are stories about people with good intent who get in far above their head.

I hope you will enjoy it.

Table of Contents

Subject to revision

  • Tasty Morsels
  • Dark Waters
  • The Trouble With Perspective
  • Follow the Leader
  • Nothing to Fear
  • Finders, Keepers
  • To Die Well
  • Man Up
  • Tending the Sacred Heart
  • Talking Bout My Generation
  • Short Con
  • The Meek Shall Inherit
  • The Screaming Man
  • This Land is Your Land
  • Kintsukuroi
  • Feeding Time
  • No Love for Emily
  • A Woman’s Favour
  • Fisher of Men
  • Tight the Cords that Bind
  • Author’s Postscript
  • About the Author
  • Selected excerpts

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