Teaser: A Seed on the Wind

The Jelly Bean Tanker Explosion

The Jelly Bean Tanker Explosion, drawn using Sketchpad Pro on the iPad, included here because a blog entry is so much more interesting looking when there's a visual element. Plus, I like this picture.

Should it be “on” or “upon” the wind? I’m torn. Either way, here’s a scrap to tantalize you a little.

He tried the drugs of Waterdeep.

He let himself be stung by wasps, each time burning like fire, melting like ice, evaporating into unconsciousness.

He chewed hallucinogenic onions and leaves so bitter he tasted them for days later.

He tried the flesh of an animate cactus and slept for three days in a dreamworld where he lived and died and rose into the form of a strange creature with ribbed horns on its head and hooves that struck fire from the rocks it ran over. It died to a wolf, and he rose that time as a vast flower, taking up a good third of the Abyss’s width, skirting the sunstrip and forcing travelers to bring him water and shit to pay passage. He lived for eons that way, then was vanquished by fungus and woke with his mouth tasting of licorice.

He listened to the dissonant orchestras whose intent was to derange the senses in tandem with a particular brew made from spit and a leafy green vegetable that had been shipped up from Ellsfall and followed it up with the discordant screeching of rodents.

He ate the eyeball-sized snails that thrifty city folk grow in barrels to sell at market, trying them raw, cooked in butter, and threaded on skewers to be marked with the grill’s deep black stripes.

He let parasites burrow into his skin and waited for the bliss of their hatching.
He huffed gritty crystals scraped from a cavern’s wall and scorpion venom.

He drank the blood of a mausel dog, although he let someone else wield the blade that killed it. He told himself it would have died with or without his intervention.

He smoked snakeskin and toadskin, and the dust of the yellow moths that come out only after a great wind.

He drifted from high to high, abandoning himself and becoming a new thing.

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About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
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