Skip to main content

"I Have Been Drowned In Rain" by Carrie Vaughn

"I Have Been Drowned In Rain" by Carrie Vaughn 

This story comes out Beneath Ceaseless Skies magazine April 2017, issue #223. 

This was a fun little sword and sorcery story.  It has been awhile since I've seen sword and sorcery in short form.  The story was a great little romp, just long enough to give a quick scene of what could be a great novel. 

A party led by Jared, a knight, is stuck on the banks of the sea.  It is pouring rain and there are no ships that are going out into the water at this time of the day.  They have to find a ship and sail across the sea, but the catch is, all without getting caught. 

The party consists of a knight, Jared, a thief, Baerd, a magician, Aldis, a princess, Mariana, and Kat.  Kat is special.  Kat is a mystery.  No one knows anything about Kat.  Kat was found in an alleyway being abused by three men when Jared spotted her and saved her.  She joined them as a type of maiden for the princess, but also acted as a waif, and a servant of sorts. 

Kat said mysterious stuff like she knew something the others didn't.  She was always aloof at the same time.  Like she wasn't altogether there.  She stayed quiet, but when she talked it made everyone stop and take notice.  Like when Kat told everyone that "rain is death." 

Rain is death just went along with how Jared had been feeling.  Jared had been having a bad feeling since they arrived at shore.  He was so close to finishing his quest, but there was just something in the air he couldn't put his finger on.  Were they being watched?  Was the princess's identity not secret anymore?  Was someone following them waiting for them to sleep?  Was there a traitor in there midst?  Jared just didn't know and he hated the feeling of not knowing, but he trusted his gut. 

When nightfall came and it was time for bed Jared set up a watch during the night.  Everyone would take turns.  Aldis offered to take first watch and Jared went to lie down for the night.  Jared didn't think he would sleep, but he must have been more tired than he thought.  He fell right to sleep.  Something he wished he wouldn't of done.  Something he didn't see coming, or did he? 

I really liked this story.  I love sword and sorcery and this was a nice bite-sized story.  The story was a nice little scene length and introduced quite a bit for the shortness of the story.  To me I wished it had been a longer story.  To me that means it was a good story. 

The author does delve a little bit into what started the quest and some information as to why the quest needed to be done.  You weren't left wondering why the quest was being done.  That made me hungry for more because I wanted to see how the quest ended. 

The ending was satisfying considering that it was a short fiction work.  With the knowledge that it was meant to be short fiction I could understand the ending.  However, I still wished it had been longer.  I would of loved to see how the rest of the story developed.  There was so much rich story going on that the author could have expanded on things a bit more, but again, short fiction.  Get to the point, and tell the story. 

Overall, I could see this being a seed to a new novel.  Of course everything turns into a series now a days, but I would like to see a stand alone novel with this story.  Fun stuff! 


Popular posts from this blog

"Red Card" by S.L. Gilbow

"Red Card" by S.L. Gilbow
This story comes from the anothology "Brave New Worlds" edited by John Joseph Adams.
This story had an interesting concept.  A government program in Merry Valley gives anonymous and random red cards to some of the residents.  A government issued revolver is also given along with the red card.  These red cards entitle the carrier of the card to become what is known as an "enforcer." 
An enforcer gets to kill one person of their choosing for any reason.  They can kill with impunity, but must follow the laws and guidelines of the program to not get in trouble.  As long as the guidelines are followed there are no repercussions

"Extraction Request" by Rich Larson

"Extraction Request" by Rich Larson
This story comes from the anthology "The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Vol. 2" edited by Neil Clarke.
This is a story about a squad leader, named Elliot, and his squad.  Elliot is the squad leader of the team that was flying through the air of the planet.  He is also the squad leader addicted to pain killers.  Although he tries to hide this fact from his squad many of them notice the changes in him.  He's not fooling anyone.
The squad wasflying through the air of a planet when they hit a smart mine and went down.  The planet was covered in large swathes of fungi.  Fields of it for miles.  Small amounts of flora, but pretty much just the fungi all around them.
They went down pretty hard, but with only one casualty.  Beasley was pretty much sheared in half, but still coherent.  He sent out a ripple to the squad.  Each squad member saw the flash of light on their optic visor that allowed them an up or down vote on whe…

"Under Cover of Darkness" by Christopher Golden

"Under Cover of Darkness" by Christopher Golden
This story comes from the collection "Tell My Sorrows To The Stones" written by Christopher Golden.
This story started out following a national guardsman, Carl Weston, waiting in a trench.  We aren't sure what he is waiting for yet, but we find out he is "babysitting" one of the new guardsman, Brooksy.  Soon we find out the National Guard is working with Border Patrol on the Mexican Border.
The Border Patrol had intel that there was a cartel running illegals across the borders and making them smuggle cocaine at the same time.  A double bonus for the cartel.  The Border Patrol setup an operation to stop this shipment of drugs and illegals crossing the border withthe National Guard backing them up.
Soon illegals crossed the border from Mexico into the United States carrying backpacks full of drugs.