First Story: “Lost Son” by Maurice Broaddus
“I will make my arrows drunk with blood, while my sword devours flesh: the blood of the slain and the captives, the heads of the enemy leaders.” Deuteronomy 32;42
“Favor us with a tale, storyteller,” Ghana Menin asked in his way of implying a threat if disobeyed. His lanky frame slumped in his high backed seat, still unused to the power at his command. The celebration of their latest trade agreement had gone well. Soon, more treasure would be flowing to them, insuring Wagadugu’s place as the pride of the continent. The central fire roared before them. The tall flames danced wildly in the night, holding the ghana’s court of counselors, ministers, interpreters, and treasurers in rapt attention.
Maurice Broaddus has written hundreds of short stories, essays, novellas, and articles. His dark fiction has been published in numerous magazines, anthologies, and web sites, including Asimov’s Science Fiction, Cemetery Dance, Apex Magazine, and Weird Tales Magazine. He is the co-editor of Streets of Shadows (Alliteration Ink) and the Dark Faith anthology series (Apex Books) and the author of the urban fantasy trilogy, Knights of Breton Court (Angry Robot Books). He has been a teaching artist for over five years, teaching creative writing to students of all ages. Visit his site at www.MauriceBroaddus.com.
Second Story: “Ten Things I Know about the Wizard” by Steven Rasnic Tem
One: That He Has a Beautiful Daughter
Clarence first met Amanda in the marketplace when she stole several fruits from his vending cart. He’d been completely entranced by her: her long, silky black hair falling loosely to her shoulders, her narrow face and full lips. And her eyes3 like emeralds on snow; He was watching those eyes when he should have been watching her hands. It was only as she started to turn away that he saw her slipping the fruit into the front pockets of her dress.
Steve Rasnic Tem is a past winner of the World Fantasy, British Fantasy, and Bram Stoker awards. His most recent novel is Blood Kin (Solaris Books). His most recent story collections are Celestial Inventories (ChiZine) and Here with the Shadows (Swan River Press). You can find out more at www.m-s-tem.com
About the Narrators:
Beginning his career as a somewhat under-produced playwright, Gregory Austin switched his desires to acting and article writing. After spending half a decade as a head writer and featured performer for the Chicago-based improv group The Human Touch, Gregory gave up doing gigs at bars five nights a week (and his liver thanked him once it began functioning again). From there he returned to his home town of Buffalo, New York where he obtained his legal degree. While that Juris Doctor continues to collect dust in his flooding basement, Gregory flourishes as a freelance writer for numerous internet comedy sites and also books gigs locally as a voice actor. When he’s not busy polishing the finer points of his novel or saving the world from injustice, Gregory enjoys arguing semantics with his partner and two beloved cats, Nala and Zelda.
Shaun Hayworth is from Northern California, where he makes a living as the world’s least interesting filmmaker. In his spare time, he plays music, does magic, and plays probably too many role-playing games. You can find his video cast, Fire in the Garden, at http://bit.ly/fireitg, or follow him on Twitter at @SCHayworth.