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.

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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.

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The Hen and the Hawk

Here’s another fractured fable for you:

red-tailed-hawk

In a time long past that happens every day, there lived a hawk. This hawk perched on the highest tree branches, surveying all that he saw around him, all that was his prey. For the hawk had none above him, and all feared his shadow circling overhead.

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The Shepherd Boy Dovid

This developed from a chat with a friend, and I decided to finish it for her. It’s very silly, but so am I…

Come gather round dear children, and heed the words I say
A tale of bravery and woe to make you cry “oy vey!”
For when the sky grew dark, and so many ran and hid,
There stood one boy against the wolves, a shepherd boy Dovid.

Dovid he was out one day, a-minding all the sheep,
He listened to them “baa” and he listened to them bleat.
He put his horn up to his mouth and played a tune he did,
For no one blew his horn quite like the shepherd boy Dovid

The sheep oh they did dance around, The chickens and cattle too
Goats swung each other by the beards, a 23 Skiddoo!
The dogs! The Cats! The bunnies! The Bats! They frolicked and they slid.
They loved to hear the music of the shepherd boy Dovid.

The villagers–boo– they did not like young Dovid and his tune.
He should be far more serious, not horning to the moon
Until one fateful day, when the troubles flipped its lid.
They learned their one true hero was the shepherd boy Dovid.

10 packs of wolves came from the west, all nasty fangs and fur,
they gnashed their teeth and how they howled, they “grrred” a fearsome “grrr”
The people they all ran away from both ends to the mid,
All except that horney boy, the shepherd boy Dovid.

The wolves prepared to feast upon the animals a-dancin’
They circled round the sheep, oh, no escape a-chancin’
The sheep all bleated: mistreated, left feeted, and scared from tail to nib
But the wolves were in for a surprise: the shepherd boy Dovid.

Dovid put the horn back to his lips and he began to blow
A tune no wolf had heard before nor one they’d ever know
For wolves are smart and wolves are fierce but wolves know no music,
especially not the tunes of the shepherd boy Dovid

The wolves big paws, they came with claws, and now began to dance
They wagged their tails and booped their snoots, a prelude to romance.
They twirled around the sheep and goats but did not bite or nip,
For they were too entranced by the shepherd boy Dovid

And all those wolves, they danced all night to the music of the horn,
and they were all a-fast asleep by the coming of the morn.
And Dovid led his sheepies home to where the sheepies lived
And not a sheep was lost because of the shepherd boy Dovid

The next day all the people returned and oh to their surprise
Their sheep, their chickens, their goats, their cows all staring with big eyes
The animals they had judged them all, they knew what they had did,
And not one of them was half as brave as the shepherd boy Dovid

Now no one ever complained again when Dovid played his horn,
And secretly they smiled, and they never were forlorn,
They learned that music is special, and worth a hefty bid,
And especially the music of the shepherd boy Dovid

doge in space card redux

 

 

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.

The Fly on the Wall: Another Weirdass Fable

The following was inspired by a huge fly that got into Katie’s apartment last night and pissed me off with its flyness and flyosity.

Once upon a time, there was a fly. He was not a sly fly, nor a cry fly. He was not my fly or your fly or anybody’s fly. He was Guy the Fly, just a simple fly in an unsimple world, a world where he could find no picnics to sample and faced all sorts of predators that wanted to predatize him with their predatory ways.

One day Guy was fleeing…no…flying…away from one of these predators when he saw with his hundred eyes a rectangular-shaped cave. It was cool in the cave, and Guy could see with his hundred eyes that there was raw chicken breast on a baking sheet in the kitchen. “What luck!” He buzzed. “I can eat a tiny bit of that chicken and there is nothing that will attack me. This is paradise!”

The cave closed shortly after Guy the Fly flew into it, but Guy was not perturbed. He had flown a long way before he saw the cave, and was not afraid of such odd occurrences. But when a giant, fleshy hand swatted at him, Guy went from unperturbed to very, very perturbed.

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Watchmage’s Sequel Almost Good to Go

The final proof is done. The Layout is almost done. The cover is almost done. Cold Iron, the sequel to The Watchmage of Old New Yorkshould be here by the end of the summer. Here’s the backpage blurb to get your metaphorical mouths watering:

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.

Btw: Watchmage is 99 cents right now, so now is the perfect time to buy it. Get in on the story just in time for the sequel. Every purchase is a big boost to a struggling artist like me. If you like my writing, 99 cents is a worthwhile investment.

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