A White Rose to Tend

Rosita picked up the smooth stick from outside the door and carefully pared the black mud from her feet before she stepped inside, the mended nets drying on the scaffold Ronaldo made for them before the sickness had left him an invalid. She set the bucket of cleaned shrimps on the stone hearth, then poked […]

Sheriff Clark is Busy

They sat on the hard bench in the waiting room. The deputy had his feet up on his desk to show the visitors his bored indifference. Hosea glanced at John, erect and proper in a good blue suit and white shirt, clenched hands the only indication of his growing impatience. John rose and walked over […]

A Film of Hell Itself

His dark eyes darted from face to face, hollows in his cheeks giving him a death’s head look. His voice was strong, and he spoke good English. “My friends, I will now to show you something not seen anywhere outside Germany. To the free world, these are only ugly rumors of unspeakable acts. Many deny […]

Mutiny With Cause

Captain Cheap had never been popular at the best of times, and as food ran short he was less so. Added to this was the fact that the injuries he’d sustained in the wreck left him barely able to walk. He spent his days sequestered in the one surviving tent with guards posted outside. The […]

Crux

Gulder waded through the muck and swatted at the spit of flies hovering around his face. New Netherland. Such a grandiose name for this shabby place, but that was Stuyvesant all over. Pompous and self-important, quick to take insult, and––above all––immensely ambitious, Stuyvesant’s first action upon landing was to read the proclamation declaring himself Director-General […]

Probable Cause

Darius squinted against the glare of headlights bouncing off the rear-view. The man tapped a heavy flashlight against the driver-side window. Darius rolled it down. “Officer?” he said, trying to keep the fear from his voice. “Hell boy,” said the man behind the flashlight. “I’m the sheriff. You blind?” “My apologies, Sheriff.” “This sure is […]

Used To Be Skywater

Saturdays we got up even earlier so as to get the chores done before setting out. If Carl’d stayed sober Friday night, then the delivery would be ready. That hadn’t been the case for months. It was just getting light when I got to the still. Jody was already there, wrapping the mason jars in […]

Exile

Longwood House, the only residence on the island large enough to accommodate the Imperial Retinue, has proved unsuitable. Rats scuttle along the hallways with impunity, the acrid tang of their urine and copious droppings in every room. Ever the soldier, he seems oblivious to such discomforts, instead nursing a private resentment because Governor Lowe refuses […]

The Angel of the Lord

He could be a right bastard if you stood in his way. Taller than most, but it wasn’t his height, nor his gray beard, nor even his stiff and lordly manner. No, it was them eyes. Never was there eyes like that in a mortal man. What color, you ask? Why, perhaps gray or blue. […]

Starvelings

It is always night in the jungle. Mosquitoes whine in my ears. The heat feels like a damp blanket. I can’t breathe. And they are coming. We can’t see them, only hear their horrible yelling and screaming in the dark. Where are they? Where the fuck are they? I bolt awake, rub my grainy eyes as […]