This story is set in the world of Depression-era historical fantasy novel The Cunning Man by D.J. Butler and Aaron Michael Ritchey, out in November. Aaron Michael Ritchey is the author of twenty-one novels and numerous pieces of short fiction. He was born on a cold and snowy September day in Denver, Colorado, and while he’s lived and traveled all over the world, he’s a child of the American West. Sagebrush makes him homesick. While he pines for the road, he still lives in Colorado with his cactus flower of a wife and two stormy daughters.
Fiction Short Story
Hiram Woolley didn’t need his bloodstone or his Saturn ring or any sort of help to know that he didn’t want to answer the door. That knock sounded angry. It was only a matter of time before the neighbors, especially one neighbor, came calling. He’d hoped to get away with his bit of charity unnoticed. That wasn’t meant to be.
He swung open the door. Mavis Keaner stood on his front porch, hands clenched. Mrs. Keaner liked her rose water and cold cream. She’d missed a line of white under her left eye, a glaring eye, nearly closed with an infected stye. Her mouth was small, tight, and wrinkled. Her blue dress was as faded as it was loose on her slim, spare frame. The lace was nice, though.
“Mr. Woolley, I know your property is your property, and I know living with your wild, troubled son must not be easy, and I know that in these trying times, it is our Christian duty to give comfort, but . . . ” A blush rose in her cheeks.
Michael, his son, was out at the creek with some of his friends. However, Mrs. Keaner hadn’t come to his beet farm to talk about Hiram’s questionable parenting. She had to include the remark in preparation for future tirades.
“You know a lot,” Hiram said quietly.Read More