And as of this writing, already funded. I want to thank everyone who’s backed the kickstarter so far, and also everyone who’s shared it on social media to help spread the word. You’ve all been a part of the success of the anthology.
We are barreling past stretch goals – the first stretch author, JY Yang has already been added, at $5000. At the $6000 mark, my story, “The Maelstrom At The End Of The World” gets added.
It’s a steampunk story about an airship captain and a pair of skywhales in a dying world. And because you all clearly need more enticement, here’s a short excerpt:
Out in the fading light, Kelle thought she saw something drifting through the clouds. A faint glow, and a violet coloured wake behind it.
“You see that out there?”
Weston squinted. “Is that a skywhale?”
“You’re seein’ what I’m seein’.”
“Got to be the last one.” Weston stood with his mouth open as Kelle turned the tiller towards the great beast arcing through the sky.
If they could catch it, it would feed the hundred evacuees on their ship for weeks.
“Get the harpoon ready,” Kelle told Weston.
Weston hesitated. Kelle understood why. Skywhales were beautiful creatures, and the sky had been empty of them for so long. Skysailors had told stories ever since the first airhsips, of skywhales guiding them to safe harbour when they were lost in a storm. To see one again was a symbol of hope.
To kill it would break Kelle’s heart as much as it would Weston’s. But his little one’s needed food, and there was none. And this skywhale was headed into the Maelstrom anyway.
The crew around her readied the main harpoon. It was a heavy thing, bolted down to the outer deck. An older model—this wasn’t a whaling vessel, never had been. The harpoon had been added on when things started getting bad, and they needed to take down the whales for food whenever they could. Still, until now, Kelle had never been able to bring herself to do it. If she were alone, or just with the crew, she might still have claimed the whale was too far away, or too close to the Maelstrom.
But for Weston’s little ones she would do it.
“Weston, tell them evacuees in the hold they might be in for a bumpy ride in a bit, but with any luck we’ll have dinner tonight.”
The Skywhale loomed closer. Kelle wondered aloud to Weston, “I never understood, after all the time humans have been hunting and killing them suckers, they’ve never learned to fear us.”
“My father always said they’re wise beyond our comprehension,” Weston replied.
The skywhale disappeared into a rose coloured cloud of aether fleas, opening it’s gaping jaws to suck in a mouthful. When it came cresting out, they were close enough to see clearly. The creature’s skin glowed white and shimmered with colours in the faded light of the sun. It was a cow—a she-whale—and her fins spread out as long as her body, filmy and glistening like the wings of a giant dragonfly. She didn’t flap—no one knew what kept a skywhale afloat, but the fins were merely rudders, the tail much like the front fins.
And she wasn’t alone.
Sailing next to it’s mother’s dorsal fin was her calf. Both glowed against the cloud, and a white and violet shimmer reflected over their bodies as they moved.
“We taking the baby too?” Weston asked, appearing beside her again.
So. Yeah. Not even twenty four hours and we’re only about $500 from this story being included in the anthology. I’m really excited to see my work in print, and thank you again for all your support!
Keep your wings level.
Update: And I woke up this morning to see we’re at $6060 – this story will officially be included in the anthology! There are five more stretch author’s though, so if you haven’t backed the Kickstarter yet, we want to get all of them in! Click here to back the Kickstarter and help my fellow writers get included in the anthology: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/103879051/athenas-daughters-volume-2/description