Like many well-known literary authors such as Neil Gaiman, for instance, I throw up a speculative genre short story to viable magazines. These are always a hard sell – much harder than getting published in the Mid-American, for example. I get more turn-downs here than any other place and usually because my style is “too literary” for them.
“A Mist on the River”
And the uncouth ones – the rural-minded and lazy locals – call their home Tinney-Town. Tin-knee. So, the rural people of Cor Tinnan are considered savage and stupid compared to the urban people in Cor Brethil, then. No one in the capital city will own up to that, though, even if everyone here on the River knows it’s so.
Oh, but it’s beautiful in Tinney-Town. The wide and great River Tharans dictates the town’s fortunes. It flows gently here, the water, and though its color remains a dark muddy brown in the best of months, it cannot detract from the way the chilly north air kisses the surface when there is no cloak of mist. The trees, the stones, the eddy pools, the trolling fishermen in their small barges ker-plunking their long poles in the shallows, add to that wilder-land majesty of the town’s ancient sylvan evenings.
Bright sunshine when it’s not raining, which seems most of the time, and bold fireflies sparking the cool summer evenings belie a serenity even after, a long time ago, the passing of the great wizard and the evils that had scoured the land thereabouts. No one remembers those times because anyone who would is dead. Dead and buried.
Anyhow, the moon is on the wan as Adbur takes a small pipe from a friend on the stoop of Brinn’s Tavern and strides into the night. The moon is strong enough to cleave shadows near the docks, casting black fingers from the edging fences down the Waterway Road.