As part of Literary Escapism’s series of seasonal-themed short stories by SFF authors, I have contributed a new story featuring Gaelan Erceldoune, my favorite immortal apothecary and rare books collector, and set in the universe of The Apothecary’s Curse. Here’s a bit of a tease (I’ll be posting it in full on here after New Years), but you can read it in full at Literary Escapism.
Here’s how it starts…
“Black Friday.” Each year, the phrase brought a chill to Gaelan Erceldoune, evoking memories very far from current usage: that riotous, yet innocent shopping day, and start to the Christmas season, full of cheer and light. But he’d lived through too many Fridays—centuries of them—riots and unrest, economic earthquakes and death, all called “Black Friday.”
It was not that he didn’t appreciate the season with its lights in the midst of darkest season: the way the stars and planets seemed clearer in the cold black of the sky above the Lake Michigan horizon, the festive lights that lent an unearthly pink-blue glow to the city, especially when it snowed. But Black Friday evoked none of that. It was strictly a shopping bacchanal—an homage to the dual gods of greed and selfishness.
Unless you were seeking it directly, you were as likely as not to miss the shop, despite its broad double-bowed windows, hand-lettered with “Gaelan R. Erceldoune Antiquarian Books and Antiquities.” The shop was obscured as it was beneath the elevated tracks, and Gaelan had little reason to suspect the horde would descend upon him this day.
Still, he brewed a large batch of his most special tea—just in case—to offer a cup to any who crossed his threshold. The spicy-sweet aroma of cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and cayenne and oranges supplanted the usual musty infusion of aged vellum, worn leather, and ink. Read more…
You can read more about The Apothecary’s Curse here, including buying links. Or you can pick it up at your local B/N or indie bookseller…or your local library! I’d love to know what you think of the novel. Feel free to leave a comment or post a review on Goodreads or Amazon.com!