This final story in On Stranger Winds is, as mentioned in The Ballad of Papi Huesos entry), a grim piece called Let Rains Bring Toads. And this would definitely be on the darker side of the book's various journeys.
In some ways the book is a travelogue. Since the first story was penned, I have moved from the rainy Seattle (Jitter, The Pumpkin Dream), past the snow-deep woods of Ichabod's Cottage (Herbivorous Witch, Watrous & Valmora), to desert environs, (Papi Huesos, Let Rains Bring Toads). This one was written during the monsoon season, when huge storms, like thundering animals lash with lightening, sweeping across the warm summer desert lands where you have little place to hide. The name follows one of these experiences, when one quiet night, after a tremendous storm, a nighttime canyon echoed with the calls of desert toads, perhaps like this one...(seen in this list of New Mexico amphibians)?
The story opens during a monsoon, upon a property of one particularly odd building. But this is not the adobe that the area is so famous (see wikipedia photo below). It is instead described as having a surface more like a termite hill. And as the view enters inside one of the small, thick border windows, that is where our tale begins...
So, at that, I'm ending this entry rather short, sufficing to say, that there is, as seems to be coincidental in all these stories, another spell-caster, who lives at this abode. And on this given night, a mob of towns people have entered very upset with her magic, and their choices in the past at their own questionable utilization of her magic. What follows is perhaps something like an old horror movie scripts that struggles with morality and mortality, or perhaps I was channeling such shows as The Outer Limits, One Step Beyond, or The Twilight Zone.
Oh, and before I forget, last, but not least, there is a guest appearance by some skeletons, as well as some desert creatures in this story. The witch has a couple of acquaintance --- there is a shape-shifting coyote, and another creature involved in her spell-casting, the vinegaroon (whip-scorpion shown above), the latter of which I have yet to see in the wild, because they only come out at night. Imagine that crawling into your boots or tent. Yikes!
Well, that's it - the final entry! A big thank-you to all have have visited the blog these past few weeks and participated, and I'm looking forward to the giveaway at the end of this week!
Bindlegrim books in need of a new home. PS - Cover art is by David Irvine
*** GIVEAWAY DETAILS ***
1) From March 10th to Mar 17th - leave a blog comment here about whatever you like... about witches, old movies or TV shows, weird architecture, big bugs, you name it...
2) For each author-notes blog entries, I will draw randomly at the end of that week to give the commenting visitor a signed printed copy of Tall Tales Shorter Days.
3) At the end of all six blog entries (occurring THIS week) I will draw from ALL comments (more commenting visits, more chances to win) for one Bindlegrim lantern - The Horrid Decor (Orange on Ghost Skin) seen below.
Note - Bindlegrim encourages and hopes, but does not require, readers might leave a Like or Review on Amazon for the book: (in print on Amazon or Etsy) or by e-book via Kindle/iPad.
*** GIVEAWAY DETAILS ***