Today’s the day, friends! My new story, “Little Black Death” drops in The Crow’s Quill, the new gothic magazine from Quill & Crow Publishing House. This debut issue is free for everyone, so if you like the dark and macabre, get on over and indulge in some darkness with me and my dark little online family. Every future issue will have a theme and I’m already hard at work on my next piece for issue 2, which will have a witchy theme.
Anyway, you came her for an excerpt, so allow me to tease you.
Little Black Death
The newest expansion of the Hargrove Mill opened the night Daniela was born. Gray smoke bloomed and blended into the sky as I labored. Daniela had my red hair, which I buried beneath the blanket when William entered my chambers to see his firstborn child. He took her and gazed at her sleeping face. He touched her cheek before facing the village below.
“I’m sorry,” I said.
At this, he revealed to Daniela the cold depths of his black stare. It had seized me the day he brought his carriage to the village and proposed that I become his wife. His irises were dark as his pupils, glistening with only the slightest touch of desperation as he waited for my response. My body chilled, so fearful to answer. His lumber had built every structure in the village. He lived alone in his stone home, perched on the mountainside, each arched window accented with draperies of red. When he kissed me on our wedding day, his mouth tasted of blood.
“What are you sorry for?” he asked, raising his gaze to my face full of tears.
“I-I know you only married me for an heir.”
He placed Daniela back into my arms. His knee shifted the mattress as he leaned in close and wiped the hot tears from my eyes. “Don’t cry, darling. I married for love as well, and you’ve given me a daughter to spoil.”
More tears came, clouding my eyes, turning the room into a swirl of red as he embraced us both. I tried to find comfort, but only felt his chill. I smelled salt and iron, and the baby must have too, because she opened her mouth and screamed like a siren of warning.