First Story: “Troll’s Night Out” by Jenny Blackford
There was a lot of shrieking and laughing going on at the table behind ours.
“Girls’ night out,” I said, and took a good swig of my glass of red.
David barked out, “What did you say, woman?”
I shouted this time, hoping to penetrate the restaurant sound barrier: “Girls’ night out.”
David snorted. With his impressive snout, that was something.
“Trolls’ night out, more like it,” he said. He bared his long white canines in a toothy grin.
The comment was typical of the David I’d known and hated, before I ran away to Scandinavia. Unfortunately, it’s not considered good form to scream at one’s ex in a good Melbourne restaurant. Instead, I cut off a piece of my salmon cutlet and stuck it in my mouth, fast. The aroma of David’s steak was tormenting me.
Jenny Blackford is an Australian writer and poet whose work has appeared in many places, including Strange Horizons, The Pedestal Magazine, and Penumbra. Pamela Sargent called her historical novella set in classical Athens and Delphi, The Priestess and the Slave, “elegant.” Pitt Street Poetry has recently published an illustrated collection of her cat poems, The Duties of a Cat.
Her website is www.jennyblackford.com, she blogs at jennyblackford.livejournal.com, and she tweets as @dutiesofacat.
Second story: “We Sleep on a Thousand Waves Beneath the Stars” by Brendan Connell
White, hot sand strewn over with shells and then a great sweep of green; an island rich in vegetation, investigation revealing all sorts of tropical fruits, some of which the crew was familiar with, while others none of them had ever seen before – in the shape of stars, swords and crescents. Large brightly-plumed parrots squawked in the trees and small brown-furred monkeys leapt from branch to branch and chattered while, from the depths of huge ferns, the height of a man, came the pleasant scent of land – welcome indeed to those who had been six continual weeks aboard a ship after being thrown off course by a storm.
Brendan Connell was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1970. He has had fiction published in numerous places, including McSweeney’s, Adbusters, and the World Fantasy Award winning anthologies Leviathan 3 (The Ministry of Whimsy 2002), and Strange Tales (Tartarus Press 2003). His published books are: The Translation of Father Torturo (Prime Books, 2005), Dr. Black and the Guerrillia (Grafitisk Press, 2005), Metrophilias (Better Non Sequitur, 2010), Unpleasant Tales (Eibonvale Press, 2010), The Life of Polycrates and Other Stories for Antiquated Children (Chomu Press, 2011), The Architect (PS Publishing, 2012), Lives of Notorious Cooks (Chomu Press, 2012), Miss Homicide Plays the Flute (Eibonvale Press, 2013), The Cutest Girl in Class (Snuggly Books, 2013), The Galaxy Club (Chomu Press, 2014), and The Metanatural Adventures of Dr. Black (PS Publishing, 2014). Find out more at http://brendanconnell.wordpress.com/
About the Narrators:
Catherine Logan had many years of training in theatre and voice in her youth – then many years of teaching acting, drama, writing and English literature as a grown-up. She has taken plenty of workshops and has studio experience in narration, commercial and animation voiceover work. Catherine is now involved in a second career which takes her back to her first love.
Matthew Frederickson is in his mid-30s, living in Memphis, Tennessee, with a rockstar plastic surgeon wife. He reads and writes and runs in his spare time. He loves to brew beer, and he’d love to make that his career. He will soon start the second season of his podcast, Freddy’s Fan Fiction. You can find him on Twitter as @swami.