“The Adventurer’s Wife” by Premee Mohamed
(Originally published in She Walks In Shadows.)
It was not till after the adventurer had been interred that we learned that the man had been married. My editor, Cheltenwick, did not even let the graveyard mud dry decently on his boots before he dispatched me to the widow’s house with instructions for a full interview, which I had no doubt he would embellish even more than his wont.
“Delicate sighs, Greene,” he said, hurrying me into a cab and pushing a fresh notebook into my hands. “A crystal-like droplet that rolls down her wan face. I want that, and a most particular description of the house, and don’t botch it up!”
“Do it your precious self, Wick-Dick!” I wished to shout, but it was too late and my career would be worth less than an apple-fed horsefart if I did botch this article. Henley Dorsett Penhallick had been a living legend for 50 years; any description of a life-imperiling venture or terrifying journey was known as a ‘Dorsett tale’ in these parts. One never knew of his comings and goings — he was either thousands of miles away, or hunkered in his house ignoring the doorknocker. Every few years, his publisher would release a booklet of his exploits, copied verbatim — at his insistence — complete with the spelling errors and lavish illustrations in his letters. I had seen a few around the newsroom, the long, elegant script tipped exaggeratedly over on its side, as if racing to get to its destination. I was quite sure he had never mentioned a wife. Everyone would have gone quite mad at such a discovery.
Premee Mohamed is a scientist and spec fic writer working out of Canada. Her work has appeared most recently in Syntax and Salt, Metaphorosis, Alliteration Ink’s No Sh!t, There I Was anthology, Innsmouth Free Press’ 2016 World Fantasy Award-winning She Walks In Shadows anthology, the Molotov Cocktail (top 10 in Flash Phenom and Flash Fear contests), and others. Upcoming work has been accepted by Third Flatiron Press. She can be found online at premeemohamed.com.
About the Narrator:
Kaushik Narasimhan is a management consultant by day and a writer by night, with a keen interest in psychedelics and role playing video games. You can find him online at kazarelth.net.