Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Faerie Gates and Gardens

I'm spending today/Wednesday at Brookgreen Gardens, one of the must-go places whenever I'm down here at Myrtle Beach.

In fact, the Gardens figured in when I asked Danielle about what sorts of stories she needed for the new Bad-Ass Faeries anthology. She said something to the effect of not having received anything post-Apocalyptic… or with gangs… or with demigods, well, I took it as a challenge to include as much of that as possible and texted Christy.

That night, a scene popped into my head.

It took place in Brookgreen Gardens.

This weekend, Bad-Ass Faeries 3: In All Their Glory debuts. I'm hoping to have some copies for Wiscon – and Danielle is having a Legendary Triple Launch at Balticon – that promises to be Bad-Ass for all you faerie-lovers.

In celebration of that, I'm giving you all a sneak peak – cameo setting: Brookgreen Gardens!

Nancy could smell the salty swamp that had replaced the entrance fountain. A pile of rocks stood like a cairn in the center. She struggled to remember what statue the stones commemorated.

Timo slowed his bike alongside her and Morrow. “Where’s the Gate?”

“The Children’s Garden.”

“Is it blocked or protected?” Morrow asked. “This was a public place.”

“It was token-activated. You need a Faerie token to get through.”

They left the motorcycles and wandered past brick and glass piles that had been the visitor center and gift shop. More kudzu and vines Nancy didn’t recognize—a sickly purple—overgrew both structures. The copper children that once stood saluting an American flag had fallen into warped monuments of deformed bodies around an unadorned flagpole.

The world swam as fear-tainted memories spun in her mind, twisting like the surroundings. She stumbled, unable to see. Vikar caught her before she collapsed.

Timo squatted before her. “I can still feel it here. You’re going to go home.” Her eyes were drawn to his necklace. She could see what resembled electric sparks in its depths. What was the story behind that token? He continued, “I can feel it.” He looked at the rest of the gang. “Can’t you all?” He was met with three nods.

Dee whispered, “This really the last one?”

Timo replied, “If there’re others, they’re too small or private like this one . . . we’d never find them unless someone knew about them.” Grinning wickedly, he transformed into a red squirrel, circled around them, then disappeared into the trees. He looked alien in the barren garden.

As they entered the Palmetto Grove, Nancy looked at the wrought iron statue of Orpheus and Eurydice. Vines had pulled Eurydice from her pedestal and half into the ground. Hades was reaching to consume her because Orpheus had so impatiently looked behind. The demigod’s harp lay in pieces on the ground, tainted by lichen.

Staring over her shoulder, she walked into Morrow’s tense back. “Huh?”

“Hand the human over...”

Please, make sure to purchase your copy of Bad-Ass Faeries 3: In All Their Glory this weekend! It's already available via Mundania Press here. Or, if you're going to Balticon or Wiscon, look for it in the book rooms!


_Decode_ said...

:) I am thinking of you as I embark on my BaltiCon journey! I didn't bring my bunny with me. Next week, I make Monica! :)

Love that you've gotten visit Brookgreen Gardens. How fun is it to see it after writing such an epic story? :)

I hope to chat with you soon. Enjoy the rest of your vacation.

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