Beneath Ceaseless Skies #281, July 4, 2019

Wednesday, 10 July 2019 16:34 Kevin P Hallett
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Beneath Ceaseless Skies #281, July 4, 2019

What the River Brings, and What It Takes Away” by Natalia Theodoridou

Across the Bough Bridge” by Mackenzie Kincaid

Reviewed by Kevin P Hallett

The 281st issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies has two original short stories.

What the River Brings, and What It Takes Away” by Natalia Theodoridou

Sapo must eat the stones from the nearby river, in this short fantasy. The cool river brings the smooth stones down from the mountain. At first, she thought it was a blessing, a way to avoid becoming pregnant. Now it feels more like a curse.

Her husband has abandoned her, and she wonders how much longer the stones will wash down; surely, she has eaten most of the mountain by now? Then one day, she spies a pregnant doe lying by the shore, close to death with a fawn close to birth. Can she save the fawn, even as its mother dies?

The prose was alright, but the story’s premise wasn’t strong and faded away at the end.

Across the Bough Bridge” by Mackenzie Kincaid

A young woman crosses an old wooden bridge to a fog-shrouded city in this fantasy novelette. Few ever return from the other side. But Hawthorn has prepared for this day and has decided to risk everything.

On the far side, once she’s penetrated the mysterious fog, Hawthorn finds a people she hadn’t expected. But she must push on and complete her four quests if her child is ever to breathe life; even if it costs some body parts.

The story was mysterious and well structured. An engaging read that ended too quickly.