Saturday Storytime: The Nymph’s Child

Carrie Vaughn first came to my attention six years ago this weekend, when her publisher gave away copies of her debut novel at the World Fantasy Convention. Even with a relatively small convention, that’s an expense. As it turns out, however, it was an investment that paid off. Carrie is both prolific and highly readable, as this short story demonstrates.

She spit in his direction, a bloodied gob of mucus. Couldn’t tell if she managed to hit anything. “Bastard,” someone muttered.

“Do it,” Alan said in a low voice. “Tell him.”

“No.” Live. That’s an order. But he wasn’t the captain anymore if he didn’t have a ship.

Chains clinked—Alan straightening. When he spoke, his voice was clear, commanding. God, he was still the captain, damn him.

“My first officer cannot sign your confession, Marshal.”

“Why not?”

“I’ll tell you alone. Tell your men to leave.” The Marshal frowned, and Alan said, “For God’s sake, what can I do to you now? I give you my word this is no trick.”

The Marshal sent his men away, so the three of them were alone. And Alan told him.

“The name is wrong.”

“On the contrary, I have all Gregory Lark’s aliases listed—”

“Grace Lark. Her name is Grace Lark.”

She closed her eyes. It was all over now. They’d still kill Alan, but she would have to live. And remember.

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Saturday Storytime: The Nymph’s Child