My father's ship, Hekaba,
was a lateen-rigged, rotten-hulled brigantine, manned mostly by
superstitious Chinamen and Lascars. We ran a ragged trade route
smuggling Malwa opium from Bombay to Canton.
The signs were auspicious as we
set out. A brief morning rain had settled the heat of the day
before, and a fresh breeze took us easily out of Bombay harbour
and into the Arabian Sea. The journey was uneventful; we crept
along India's western coast down to Alleppey, where we snuck
into port to resupply.
The night was hot, humid, with
no wind. Hekaba was rocking herself to sleep at anchor
and most of her crew were ashore sampling the delights of the
port's snake boats and twisty canals. My father was in his
cabin with a bottle of whiskey for company. To distract the
attention of nosy British East India Company officials, he’d
taken on relatively innocent supercargo: missionaries on their
way out to China to convert the heathen masses. They were safe
in their bunks. I was aft on a watch no one else could be
bothered to keep, listening to the creak of stays and the lap of
wavelets against the hull, watching lantern light spill onto the
oily swells, thinking about nothing in particular.
My reverie was interrupted by
the hollow thunk of the dory against the hull, then the slight
dips of the outboard ladder being climbed. A round face
appeared over the taffrail. The first mate.
"What's going on, Chen?" I
asked in Mandarin.
He swung a leg over and landed
barefoot on the deck. "Passenger, Griffin."
Nothing unusual in that.
Another passenger wouldn't make a difference. I nodded and
leaned against the rail to watch.
The men followed
Chen aboard, escorting into the circle of lantern light a veiled
figure. As I watched her catch her balance on the rocking deck,
her veil parted to reveal a smooth, brown cheek and a wickedly
glittering green eye, which looked me up and down and then
winked. "I am Daevas," she said in Hindi. Behind the veil her
mouth curved into a smile. "And you're a handsome young sailor,
are you not? Shall I barter with you for passage?"
"No. Not with me." I glanced
at the first mate. "All right, Chen, take her to my father.
But don't let the foreign devils get a look at her."
As the tide turned the next
morning, we tacked out of Alleppey port. On this trip our
passengers, besides Daevas the Malabar maiden, were the
Goforths, father and daughter. He was a Presbyterian patriarch
with a square-cut gray beard and plenty to say about fire and
brimstone. A missionary, of course; true to his name, he'd been
spreading the Word for years in Shangxi Province and had gone
back to Edinborough to fetch his daughter from Bible school.
Emily Goforth was a complete
mystery to me. At first I'd thought her a proper minister's
daughter, but as she walked the decks with her father, I saw her
sneaking keen-eyed glances from beneath her bonnet at the men as
they, shirtless and singing, hauled up the anchor and hoisted
the sails. She was blonde, smiling, glowing with health--a
peach of a girl. But not for long, I feared. Inland China
would do for her in no time, chew her up and suck out the sweet
juice, leaving only the wrinkled stone behind.
As we coasted out of Alleppey,
the Goforths stood amidships, taking the breeze; I was aft at
the wheel, Chen squatting on the deck nearby. My father had not
yet emerged from his cabin. "Did Daevas stay aboard?" I asked
Chen. The breeze must have carried my words to Miss Goforth's
ears, for she looked at me over her shoulder, blue eyes
Chen was picking at a spliced
rope with a marlinspike; he paused to finger his amulet which,
he'd told me, had been smeared with fluid from a dog's eye,
enabling the wearer to see into the spirit world. To see
phantoms, ancestors' souls, and demons. "The girl is not here
anymore, Griffin," he said, without meeting my eyes.
I shrugged and spun the wheel
to bring the ship about, shouting at the crew to man the lines.
Hekaba, the recalcitrant bitch, groaned a bit, then
responded. The patched sails bellied, pregnant with wind.
Over the next few days, pushed
along by remarkably friendly breezes, we rounded the blunt tip
of India, squeezed past Ceylon and headed out into the Bay of
Bengal, leaving the subcontinent sinking into the sea behind us.
Which is when I found out we'd
picked up another passenger. Or, rather, the same passenger in
a different guise.
As India disappeared over the
horizon, I turned from my contemplation of our wake and he was
there, at my shoulder. I didn't need to wear an amulet made
with the fluid from a dog's eye to know what he was. A demon.
He was tall with curling black
hair and a thin, tan face. It was like looking in a mirror,
except that he'd chosen to make himself taller, older, and
handsomer than I was. And better dressed, too. He greeted me
with a mocking bow.
I recognized the eyes, green
and glittering and nothing at all like my own muddy brown ones.
"Daevas," I said. What did he want on my father's ship?
"Davis," he corrected. "For
now. You're very quick, Captain."
"You know I am not Hekaba's
Daevas smiled. "Your father
may be captain, John Griffin, but I can see very well who runs
this ship. Now, do tell me how you figured out what I am."
"I have eyes in my
head." I gripped the spokes of the wheel and tried to keep my
voice calm. Dealings with demons invariably ended in disaster
for the humans involved.
"So you do." His voice sounded
almost approving. He leaned back against the rail and put his
face up to the sun. "The ship's holds are rather cramped and
dark," he said with a sidelong glance. "And you're carrying
some very interesting cargo."
I nodded. "That's the
captain's business, not mine. What do you want?"
Miss Goforth chose that moment
to emerge onto the foredeck from her cabin. Catching sight of
us, her face lit with a smile.
As she approached, the demon
straightened. "What I said before, boy. Passage."
"I have my reasons." With a
sly wink at me, he assumed a cultured smile and bowed. "Miss
Goforth, good morning."
She greeted me with a nod and
then returned his smile. "Good morning to you, Mr. Davis."
met below. As acquaintances they spoke for a few minutes, all
polite comments on the weather. I kept quiet. Finally, the
Reverend Goforth appeared from below. After he'd sent a glower
her way, Emily nodded to me, gave Daevas another keen look, and
went to join her father.
The demon smiled lazily and
stretched. "Charming, isn't she?"
"My, what a sulky pup you are,
Griffin." He leaned in to speak in a conspiratorial whisper.
"That girl is not the perfect minister's daughter she looks, you
I caught my breath. I knew a
thing or two about demons, and if Daevas had his eye on Emily
Goforth, she was in trouble.
"Not to worry, Griffin," the
demon said. "She is perfectly safe with me."
With that, he walked gracefully
away to continue his pursuit of the girl.
The next morning I braved my
father's cabin, for I was going to need some help dealing with
the demon. I should have known better. Someone--I could
imagine who--had supplied him with a fresh bottle of whiskey.
He gave me a blow that made my ears ring and shouted at me to
take the charts, compass, and sextant and get out. Which I
did. I'd have to deal with the demon myself.
As a start, I cornered Emily
Goforth in the bow. Her father was safely below. Praying, no
"I see you've gotten friendly
with Davis," I said.
She brushed a tendril of golden
hair from the corner of her mouth. "That is my own affair, I
think, Mr. Griffin."
How could I make her wary of
the demon without terrifying her? "He, um, is not what he
seems, Miss Goforth."
She smiled. "I can see very
clearly what kind of man Mr. Davis is." The sea behind her
glinted sapphire blue in the sunlight, and for a moment I was
dazzled. "The question I have," she went on, "is what kind of
man are you?"
I blinked. "Me?"
Miss Goforth gave a brisk nod.
"I have a feeling your father is a smuggler of some kind, Mr.
Griffin. I did notice, you know, how quietly we left Alleppey
and how carefully the crew guards the cargo."
"Well--" I was ready to deny
her charge, but then I had a better idea. "Did you drink tea in
It was her turn to blink at the
change in subject. "Yes, of course."
"I reckon you'll miss all the
tea things in Shangxi Province. China Black, lemon slices,
She turned away from me to look
out over the waves. "I'm not at all certain I will, Mr.
Griffin. I was never much interested in tea table
That was a surprise. Miss
Goforth, as Daevas had noted, was a very surprising girl. I
leaned on the rail beside her and looked out at the horizon,
where sea met sky in a blurred azure line. "Did you ever think
about how much tea the English drink?"
She raised her eyebrows. "Why,
it's the most English thing I can think of, drinking tea."
"Right." I gazed down into the
blue-green water foaming away from our hull. "The Chinese send
us their tea and d'you know what we send them in return?"
"Money, I suppose."
I shook my head. "No.
Opium." I could see that this was a surprise to her. She'd led
a sheltered life, in Scotland. So I told her about how the
English government and the East India Company had dealt with a
huge trade debt to our tea suppliers by creating a demand, in
China, for opium grown in England's crown possession, India.
"You are part of that vicious
trade," she commented when I'd finished. "And I can see very
well that you've had enough of it."
With that, she left me looking
out over the bow, thinking my thoughts.
Only later did I realize how
adeptly she'd shifted the conversation to my own sins from the
subject of her friendship with Daevas. She was pretty, Miss
Goforth, but she was also very, very clever.
That night, we were attacked by
I was sound asleep in my
hammock when the shouts of the crew awoke me. For a moment, in
the utter darkness of my cabin, I was disoriented. Pirates
infested the Straits of Malacca, but they seldom ventured into
the middle of the Bay of Bengal. Stumbling out onto the deck, I
saw the night was pitch dark, when we should have had a full
moon in a cloudless sky. I heard the thud of another hull
bumping up against ours, a patter of bare feet on the plank
deck, and a man's shrill shout. Chen, carrying a lantern,
stumbled up to me. "Pirates, Griffin!"
Shaking off my bewilderment,
and realizing that my father was not likely to make an
appearance, I snapped out orders: all hands on deck, break out
the rifles, prepare for boarders. "And put that lantern out,
Chen!" I shouted. "D’you want to give them a target?"
From out of the darkness loomed
another shape. As it passed, I saw a ship far larger than
Hekaba; lining its rails, far above, was a row of eagerly
grinning, pale--no, glowing--faces.
The demon appeared at my
shoulder. Around him shadows gathered, flickering with glimpses
of contained lightning. "They are bottles of smoke."
I whirled. "What?" Two
Lascars rushed past carrying rifles. "To the foredeck!" I
shouted after them.
Daevas grabbed my arm, his
fingers sharp and urgent, like claws. "You cannot kill them
with rifles, boy." The deck rocked as the other ship collided
again with ours, and I looked wildly away. "Griffin!" He shook
my arm. "It's my enemy--she's sent them for me. You cannot
fight them, but I can. Get all the men below, at once, or
they'll be killed."
It took a moment for his words
to penetrate. I looked searchingly at Daevas, and in the
shadowed phosphorescence from the other ship, his face looked
pale and earnest. For only a moment I hesitated.
"Break off the defense!" I
shouted. "Get below!"
I heard Chen echoing the order
and the men fleeing for the hatches. They didn't need much
persuading, as the pirates had begun boarding Hekaba in
great glowing leaps from the other ship, shrieking as they came.
I was the last one in, slamming
the hatch after me.
Goforth among the others, I sat on the deck at her side and held
her hand while her father engaged in an eloquent condemnation of
the evils of this world intermixed with prayers for his immortal
soul. As a counterpoint, the crew moaned out prayers of their
own. We huddled in terror for all the long hours that remained
of the night.
The ship rocked and shook and
once even seemed to lift from the sea and slam back down again
with a crash. We heard thunder and saw flashes of brilliant
violet and crimson light through the cracks in the decking. At
last, in the hold, the darkness was replaced by the more natural
light of dawn.
When we emerged, shaky and
peering about with lingering fear, we found the pirates gone and
Daevas sprawled facedown on the deck.
"Who," I demanded, "is this
enemy of yours? Is she going to send the pirates back for
another go at us?"
Daevas was leaning
against the taffrail watching the crew go about their business.
For their part, the crew kept their eyes averted, as if ignoring
his presence would make him cease to exist. The demon looked as
elegant as ever, his eyes as glittering, but I suspected he
leaned against the rail because he needed its help to remain on
his feet. He shrugged. "I've dealt with the pirates; they
won't be back. As I said, they were bottles of smoke." He
forestalled my question by explaining. "They were corpses,
Griffin, each one animated by a puff of magical smoke breathed
into them by my enemy."
"And she is?"
Again he shrugged but didn't, I
noticed, meet my eyes. "A demon." He paused. "She is tracking
me somehow. Like a dog on a scent. That is all you need to
I nodded. And having heard
stories about the ways of she-demons, I went to prepare the ship
for another attack.
It came in the late afternoon
as the sun was setting. The sky had been clear and bright all
day, with a fresh following breeze. For a while, dolphins had
joined us, flirting along Hekaba's hull, drafting off the
swiftness of our passage through the water. Hoping it was a
good omen, I brought Emily Goforth to see them. She laughed
with delight when one of the dolphins rolled sideways as it
raced along, peering up from the clear water to watch her,
Daevas joined us at the rail
and set himself to charming the girl. As a demon, he could
speak without accent any language he chose, so he corrected her
attempts to speak Mandarin and read from a pamphlet on
missionary work which he pulled from his breast pocket.
"'Malarial fever and dengue are common in many districts,'" he
quoted. "'They are carried to man by mosquitoes, and it is
therefore imperative to use mosquito nets on the beds, or better
still, to have the entire house screened with wire gauze.'" He
paused. "Miss Goforth, I am compelled to ask. Have you wire
She laughed at his sallies
while I stared down at the weather-whitened planks between my
bare feet. I could say nothing. She knew what Daevas was; she
was clever enough to take care of herself.
Later, the sun was setting,
blood-red along our wake while the purple of night crept up the
sky before us. I had just come up from my cabin, where I'd been
checking our course on one of the charts.
up, looking pleased with himself. He also looked different;
he'd made himself taller and darker, as if in preparation for
the next battle. "All ready?" he asked.
I gave him a brief nod in
He looked over his shoulder as
the last gleaming sliver of the sun retreated over the horizon.
"It won't be long now. Get the men below."
I nodded again and did as he
A vicious storm pounded us all
night, shredding the sails, cracking the foremast, and leaving
us many leagues off our course. Daevas lay in an exhausted,
deathlike sleep until midday. As soon as he awakened, I was at
his side. "What next?"
He was lying in state on the
deck, supported by pillows on a bed made up by the crew, who had
not yet decided whether he was to be propitiated or worshipped.
His face was lined and shadowed, but his eyes still had their
sly, emerald glint. He gave his elegant shrug.
"This enemy," I asked. "Will
she send another attack?"
Daevas nodded. "Yes. One
I sat back on my heels. "One?
How do you know?"
"This next attack . . . ." He
paused to take a breath. "It will be her third attempt. If she
fails to defeat me this time, she cannot try again. It is the
I shook my head and almost
laughed. "Demons have rules, do they?"
Daevas gave a weary smile. "We
"All right," I said. I sat
down cross-legged on the deck. From the corner of my eye, I saw
Emily Goforth sitting with her head together with Chen's. She'd
asked him to teach her how to mend sails. "What does this enemy
want with you, Daevas?"
The demon's smile grew wry.
"She is not this enemy, boy. She is the beautiful Angra
Mainyu, the Shining One, the Demon of Demons. You know, I
think, of whom I speak?"
I nodded. In the
dark grog shops of Bombay and Shanghai, sailors spoke of many
things unknown to most men.
"And you know," the demon
continued, "something about love, young as you are."
"Griffin, I've seen the way you
look at Miss Goforth."
"Leave her out of it."
He raised his eyebrows and gave
me a keen smile. "Oh, gladly. If you will make a bargain with
I knew better than to negotiate
or to succumb to his charm. But for Miss Goforth . . . . "What
is your bargain?"
"Good." Daevas nodded in
approval. "I will protect you, and her, if you will help me win
this one last battle."
"Why do you need my help?"
"I am--" Daevas hesitated,
biting his lip. "Well, Griffin, I am only three hundred years
of age, give or take a few decades. Rather young, for a demon."
"Right," I agreed. "Almost a
"Not exactly, boy." The smile
in his eyes was replaced by a razor glint. "But fit prey for
this enemy, as you call her. The fact that I . . . offended
. . . Angra Mainyu gives her adequate reason to pursue me."
I had no trouble believing that
Daevas had made himself offensive to the Demon of Demons. Well,
then. We'd have to be ready for the third attack. I got up
from the deck and went to help Miss Goforth and Chen with their
That afternoon the wind died,
leaving the patched sails hanging limply from the yards; the sun
beat down until the deck felt like a frying pan beneath my
feet. The crew grew somnolent in the heat, lying about in any
shaded corner they could find.
Emily Goforth had set aside her
bonnet, and her face was flushed, her nose sprinkled with
freckles. She greeted me with a sigh. "My father sends me to
ask if we can't make any better way."
I scanned the horizon. The sea
stretched out flat all around us, not a pawprint of wind on the
surface anywhere to be seen. It was unnatural, and it made me
nervous. "We can't make way without wind," I snapped. "Why
don't you tell your father to pray some up for us?"
She shot me a sharp look.
"Prayers have no power to help us, Mr. Griffin, as you very well
know. Not in this case."
I kept silent, ashamed of my
She went on, her voice
shaking. "We're too small. We cannot hope to strive with the
likes of Daevas, or with his enemy. We are in his hands now."
With that, she crossed the deck to sit beside the demon.
I went to turn my hand to the
Chen and two of his mates were
slouched in the bow, boneless and heavy eyed. Over my head, the
drooping sails waited to be brought down and stowed; the
foremast needed more bracing, too, and we needed to rig a storm
anchor. "Let's go, Chen," I ordered. "Get the men up. We've
work to do before the demon's enemy attacks again."
The superstitious crew should
have been jumping with anxiety at such a prospect. Chen barely
twitched an eyelid and the two Lascars at his side lay like dead
things. A feeling of dread gathered in my stomach. Going down
into the sweltering hold, I found more of the crew sleeping,
unwakeable. I hurried next to my father's cabin. He lay on the
floor in a stinking, drunken stupor. No, I realized, examining
his tarry black fingers and lips, not drunk. Drugged. He and
the crew had been at the cargo. The opium would keep them out
for hours; I'd have to prepare the ship myself.
One of the casualties of the
storm the previous night had been the dory; its staves along one
side had been sprung by the battering winds. Once he'd
recovered some of his strength, Daevas had set to work repairing
it, poking wads of oakum into the cracks between each narrow
plank. Miss Goforth kept him company, perched on a low stool by
I crouched down beside her.
"He's told you what is happening, about the Demon of Demons?"
"Yes." She looked at me with
worried blue eyes. "What are we going to do?"
I took a deep breath. "I don't
know." I stood and turned to Daevas, who was sitting
cross-legged on the deck, a pot of pitch at his knee. "What are
you doing?" I asked.
He looked up. "The crew--" he
nodded toward a sailor, curled asleep in a shady spot. "This is
Angra Mainyu's doing."
I nodded. That much had been
clear to me; we did not take on opium addicts as crew, for
obvious reasons. "Yes. Why are you mending the dory, Daevas?"
"This attack will be the worst
one yet. With your permission, Captain--" he shot me a wicked
look--"I will fulfill my part of the bargain and save you, if I
can. I am going to take the dory and make a run for it. Angra
Mainyu will follow."
I frowned. Bargain or not,
this altruistic idea didn't sound very demon-like. Daevas was,
I reckoned, planning to use Hekaba as a decoy while
saving himself. In short, we were doomed. "I see." I glanced
at Emily. "Then you must take Miss Goforth with you."
Her eyes widened and she opened
her mouth to speak, but the demon forestalled her. "Whyever
would you place a human girl in the midst of a battle between
demons?" he exclaimed with false astonishment. Then he
sobered. "Anyway, you cannot make decisions for Miss Goforth,
of all people. You must ask her what she will do."
I stared down at the weathered
planks of the deck, unable to speak because I already knew how
she would answer.
"Look at him, Miss Goforth,"
the demon said. "Rather quiet, but a handsome, intrepid young
man, acting captain of this ship, smuggling opium under the
noses of the East India Company, dealing with demons--all this
and he's not yet twenty years of age. A goodish prospect, don't
"He is certainly more
interesting than anyone I ever met sitting 'round a tea table,"
she replied, and I could hear the smile in her voice.
"What do you say, then, Miss
Goforth?" Daevas asked.
"I believe I will stay aboard
the Hekaba, Mr. Davis."
I looked up, astonished; she
gave me a smile, her blue eyes sparkling.
That gave me the
energy I needed to prepare the ship for the coming storm, for
the better prepared we were, the more likely we would survive.
With Emily's help, I brought down the sails and stowed them,
coiled lines, and braced the foremast.
As we worked, Daevas rigged a
mast and sail in the dory, then launched it over the side. He
was almost a foot taller and broader than he'd been, and his
skin seemed to barely contain him, as the true demon spirit
seethed and sparked beneath that fragile covering. His eyes
flashed now like glimpses of lightning in distant
thunderclouds. I was glad the crew was unconscious. They
probably would have leapt overboard rather than share the deck
with such a creature.
The sun was reddening into late
afternoon, beating down on a molten sea, when Daevas readied
himself to leave. "She is coming," he said, with a glance at
the horizon. To me, he didn't seem frightened. A touch
concerned, perhaps, but his look had an element of . . .
anticipation. I wondered again what kind of insult he'd given
the lady demon.
Emily stood at my side. "Good
luck, Daevas," she said. "I would pray for you, but I'm not
sure it would do you any good."
"And I would give
you a kiss for that," he answered, the usual mocking gleam in
his eyes. "But I'm afraid Griffin here would have something to
say about it." He turned serious. "Head south as best you can,
my children. Keep quiet and she might pass you by."
Perhaps I had succumbed to his
charm after all, for I believed him. I nodded and held out my
hand. He hesitated, then clasped it. A darting grin, and he
was over the side and into the dory, where he raised the sail
and set his course, away.
Emily and I stood at the rail,
watching him go. He'd conjured a bubble of wind, so he went
fast and without a backward look, skidding away over the slick
surface of the sea. He became a dot on the horizon and
"Where is your father?" I
Emily gave me a level look.
"Below, praying. He thinks the Day of Judgment is at hand."
"Maybe it is," I said.
"And your father?"
"We are neither of us," she
said, taking my hand, "very fortunate in our fathers."
That was true enough. Her hand
was cold, despite the heat. I put my arm around her and she
leaned into me, shivering. After a moment, I asked, "Will you
come and help me rig the storm anchor?"
She set aside her fear, and so
did I, and we got to work. We were both rolling with sweat and
cursing our bruised fingers by the time the anchor was ready,
perched atop a nest of coiled rope. We were dragging the last
of the crew into the hold when night fell as if a swathe of
black velvet had been dropped over the ship.
Emily and I battened the last
hatch and hurried together to the taffrail to look out over the
A fiery glow approached from
the horizon, gleaming out of the darkness like a torch, growing
huge as it hurtled toward us over the black, black sea. The
waves leapt up before it and the dead air awoke with a shriek,
fleeing in terrified gusts that buffeted the ship as they
passed. Hekaba groaned and tossed with pleasure at the
attentions of the wind and waves.
Emily and I, too awed and
frightened to seek shelter below decks, clung to each other as
Angra Mainyu approached. The Shining One came on feet of flame,
striding across the surface of the sea. Clouds of steam
billowed up at every burning step; the veil of mist surrounding
her was penetrated by beams of light which sliced through the
darkness like white-hot knives.
Angra Mainyu's attention was
focused beyond us. I imagined a tiny speck, Daevas in the dory,
darting away like a Jesus bug on the surface of a puddle.
Perhaps he'd make it to the many island havens in the Malacca
Strait, or perhaps he would turn and fight. It was possible,
likely even, that Angra Mainyu, the most beautiful demon
as he'd called her, would not destroy him after all.
The Shining One paused in her
passage to spare us a glance. The waves boiled around us and
the wind howled through the shrouds. A flaming hand descended,
picked up Hekaba and shook her. Finding nothing she
wanted, Angra Mainyu flung us down again and went striding on
through the night of flame and darkness, leaving us to battle
the storm that raged in her wake.
Hekaba at once yielded
to the demands of her lover the sea and went willingly into his
watery arms. We tried to drag the crew and our fathers onto the
deck, to save them. Our fathers refused to come out of their
cabins and the crew were limp, dead weights. As the ship went
down, Emily and I lashed ourselves to a spar. We clung to it
all that night and all the next day, and into the next night.
Emily's heavy skirts dragged her down, so with clumsy fingers I
helped her out of her dress; later, I removed my shirt and used
it to make her a head covering to protect her from the sun.
Sharks glided silently past but took no notice of us, as if we
were under the protection of an almighty hand. We talked a
little, and Emily wept for her father, and we took turns
sleeping, and watched the horizon.
As the dawn of the second day
broke, Emily nudged me awake. I opened salt-encrusted eyes to
see before us a crowd of ships at anchor in a dirty harbor,
docks piled with bales and barrels, a city of ramshackle huts
and filthy streets. Madras.
Daevas had kept his part of the
bargain. Emily's father was gone and so was mine, sunk in the
sea along with Hekaba and her crew and cargo. There
would be no going on to China after this, no more smuggling of
opium and no conversion of the heathen masses.
We were utterly bereft. Lost,
About the Author:
Sarah Prineas is an
active member of SFWA; her stories have appeared in or are forthcoming in
Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Talebones, Cicada,
Paradox, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Lone Star
Stories, Ideomancer, Flytrap, and Escape Pod. Two of
her stories were honorably mentioned last year, and one this year, in
Year's Best Fantasy and Horror.
Story © 2006 Sarah Prineas. Painting by Willem van de Velde, the
Younger, circa 1700.