The Fox and The Grapes

Okay everyone. Here’s another fractured fable for you. I bet that you know the original…This one’s a little different 😉 Like the others, they’re slated for a companion book to the Watchmage Chronicles (Book 1: The Watchmage of Old New York, is only 99 cents. Get hooked on the series now, so you can snark about how you discovered it first)

Once, but not so long ago, there was a great vineyard surrounded by great hills and cliffs. All animals loved the grapes for they were sweet and tasty, each flavor slightly different, a paradise for those that partook.

All the animals were happy, except for the foxes. The foxes had heard that somewhere in the vineyard were the legendary Alabaster Grapes, a plant that produced the perfect flavor. For the foxes, only this perfection would do.

Two fox brothers searched the vineyard for the Alabaster Grapes. They sampled from every plant they could find–some plump and purple, other a green approaching the alabaster they were searching for. Though they were all delicious, they were not the grapes that the foxes were looking for.

Fox-and-the-Grapes-story

While the second fox became despondent, but decided to settle on the bunch of grapes that he liked best, the first fox became filled with anger.

“How can you settle!?” Demanded the first fox. “Nothing else will do. Only the Alabaster Grapes are worthy.”

“The Alabaster Grapes are just a legend, my brother,” said the second fox. “We must make do with what we have, for there is no perfection, but things that approach it.”

“No! I hate all these grapes. I will never back down, and these grapes are standing in my way. They are now my enemy.”

“But they’re delicious.”

The first fox was so enraged by his brother’s wisdom and pragmatism that he decided to teach him a lesson. The fox grabbed a branch from Mankind’s famed Red Flower, the one that brought light and heat.

The fox set his brother’s grapes aflame with the Red Flower. “This will teach you for settling. You deserve this!” And his brother’s weeping enraged the first fox even more. He set every plant in the vineyard on fire, watching with glee as they burned.

But the Red Flower is insidious and burns all its path. The flames spread red across the land. All the animals except those living high in the hills were burned to death or fled far from the vineyard. Even the second fox died in the flames, and the first fox felt no guilt for his brother’s gruesome death.

From high on a hill facing outside of his burrow, the first fox watched the carnage. “Those grapes were sour anyway,” he said. He curled up in his burrow, satisfied with all that he had done.

Now, years later, the vineyard began to recover, and delicious, plump grapes reached harvesting time. And the fox began his quest for the Alabaster Grapes again. And the Red Flower was already between his jaws…

The moral: Just because something isn’t perfect, doesn’t mean you should destroy it. You never know the consequences.

Like this story? Than you’ll love my historical fantasy series, The Watchmage Chronicles. The first book is only 99 cents and free with Kindle Unlimited.

Watchmage black

doge in space card redux

Advertisements

The Captain and The Storm King of Dunderberg Mountain

Here’s yet another fractured fairy tale. I hope to include this one in my Watchmage Chronicles collection, as it’s a variation of an old folk tale of New Amsterdam (the name of New York when it was first colonized by the Dutch).

Note: My Captain Antony Van Corlear is not-so-loosely based off of the real Anthony Van Corlaer…or likely real, anyway.

Continue reading

Maribell of the Needles: A Watchmage Story

I’m working on a bunch of fairy tales and short stories that take place in the world of The Watchmage Chronicles. I’ll release them in an anthology after the 3rd Watchmage novel comes out (since some of the stories take place after that book). Here’s a variation of the White Lady myth called “Maribell of the Needles.”

I decided to have two endings: A sad one and a happy one. Let me know which one you like better in the comments section.

Watchmage black

Maribell of the Needles

By C.A. Sanders

Once upon a time, though it happens every day, there lived a young seamstress named Maribell. Still apprenticed, she was at that tender age between the pins and the needles, where love takes hold and never lets go. It was a dangerous age indeed.

On a bright Spring morning, a knight and his squire came to her village and visited her mistress’s workshop. But these shining warriors had a secret. They were not men, but the mysterious Sidhe, faerie nobles from across the Veil, where time is not the straight stitch of a hem or seam. Time is the loops, swoops, and twists of embroidery.

They entered the workshop and the knight, with slender sliver sword at his side, requested a new tabard be sewn. The squire, Lutrin, locked eyes with young Maribell, and swore that no woman would ever take the place of the sweet, cherub, brown-eyed, girl before him. And Maribell felt the same, for she looked into his eyes, a soulful shade of blue. No longer was she of the pins, but solely of the needles.

The knight laughed at Lutrin’s stammers and hitches, and the seamstress pricked Maribell on the palm and snickered at the blood. The youngsters shuffled away, stealing glances at one another, their souls sewn together.

That evening, Lutrin rapped on Maribell’s window. It would not be the last.

Continue reading

Cold Iron is Here!!

It’s finally here! Well, the pre-order is…

Cold Iron the sequel to The Watchmage of Old New York and Book 2 of The Watchmage Chronicles, is currently available for preorder for only 99 Cents!!! There’s more of everything that you loved in the original. More Nathaniel! More Jonas! More Hendricks! More painstakingly detailed historical accuracy. More Dwellers! Sadly, less flying dogs…maybe in the next book 😉 Buy Cold Iron here!

Cold Iron Cover

To go along with this, The Watchmage of Old New York is also 99 Cents!! That means you can buy two! Count em! Two books for just two bucks!!! It’s the perfect time to jump into The Watchmage Chronicles.

Hopefully next year I’ll have the third out, tentatively titled The Fiddler’s Bow, and then who knows? I have tons of ideas for novels, short stories, even a roleplaying game (Who wouldn’t want to play a Dweller in 19th century New York?).  But before all that happens, people need to read the books. If a book drops on a website and nobody is there to read it, does it make a story?

So Read! Share! Gush about the things you love! The things you hate! The lack of Flerriers! Why all the carriage drivers in 19th century New York are as crazy as the ones in 21st century New York (historical note, much of the police activity back then was dealing with cart crashes. Not much has changed).

Anyway, you get the idea. 🙂

I love you all,

Craiggers

cosmic-cat tripping balls redux

Countdown to “Cold Iron”

Get excited people! The Cold Iron presale begins next week!

Cold Iron Cover

It is 1856, and New York is burning.

When a series of devastating fires tear through Manhattan, Nathaniel Hood, Watchmage of New York, finds himself battling against a weapon beyond even his considerable power. Both Nathaniel and his police detective son, Jonas, scramble to catch the culprit, only to uncover a deep conspiracy mired in fanatical politics, greed, and a blood-soaked grudge. Is it a rebellion of Veil Dwellers, supernatural creatures trapped in our world and under Nathaniel’s charge? Is it renegade magelings seeking power beyond their control? Or is it something altogether different, unknown, and far more deadly?

Cold Iron is the sequel to the award-winning novel, The Watchmage of Old New York. The price of failure is higher, and the moral choices for both Nathaniel and Jonas threaten to change both them and the city forever. New York is as cruel and unyielding as iron bars, but in the Watchmage’s world, even iron can burn.