- Amazon: The Confederate Cavalryman’s Saber
- Smashwords: Coming soon
Published in the October 2012 issue of Lacuna Journal as “The Cavalryman’s Saber.”
Getting “The Confederate Cavalryman’s Saber” from the pen into publication was a labor of love and a lesson in humility. After months of meticulous research, sure that I had written a masterpiece, I confidently submitted it to the most prestigious journal of historical fiction I could think of. Needless to say, it got firmly rejected. I licked my wounds and rewrote it more as a ghost story. It got rejected again. And again, and again. A full dozen rewrites later I got it right, and Saber–yes I nickname my works–saw the cruel, cold light of a Civil War battlefield.
Set both in present day Colorado and at the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863 Georgia, the final version of Saber balanced historical accuracy, a ghost story, and a generous helping of mythica, featuring the legendary kitsune–fox witch–from Japanese mythos.
How a kitsune became General Bragg’s spymaster is a tale–or tail–for another day.
The Confederate Cavalryman’s Saber
Turquoise frogs, Japanese earthenware, and today an antique sword—all items I’ve delivered to an eccentric grandmother. She was a regular customer and I didn’t ask questions. With the economy in tatters and my skin being the wrong color, I was glad to have a job, and it was hard not to like Granny Hooper.
She stared for a full minute at the oblong package before she ambled, with spryness that belied her age, into the back of her shop to fetch a pen. I’d given up on convincing her to sign electronically. She doesn’t do technology; hell she doesn’t even own a phone. Not that this was incongruous with her shop, which sold potions, artifacts, rare herbs and even vials of blood. Her clientele was stranger still: I’ve seen a foxy blonde with a war axe and a green-skinned dude, three feet tall, max.
“Everything okay?” I asked, as she signed all eight pages. A sword wasn’t a surface-to-air missile, but it was still classified as a weapon for international shipping.
“Yes and no, young man, yes and no.” A long suppressed accent darted into her words. She opened the package and pulled out the weapon, long and sleek with a slight curve. A thin line of blood appeared as she drew the blade across her wizened palm.