Our latest story
Terce—Three Hours after Dawn
Sister Alice was glad of the rain. A steady patter of raindrops displayed a landscape to her sensitive ears and helped her find a path. Without hesitation, her feet followed a line of paving stones across mossy grass inside the courtyard. It was so early that the sun had not cleared the high monastery walls. The air smelled of damp stone and new wool and brown bread. Around her, she sensed other members of her order. She heard the soft fluttering of woolen garments and a musical clinking from their Möbius beads. Alice straightened the veil over her bandaged eyes and walked towards the Mill doors. For the nuns of St. Clare’s Monastery, it was time to weave the Tapestry.
The youngest kitchen apprentice watched the line of nuns pass and received a slap from Cook for taking that liberty. He shook his head to stop the flow of tears and muttered a question to an older boy washing pots beside him. “Where do they go?”
“They go inside the Mill to make the Tapestry. Mother Oda told me they have a second sight. They weave pictures of the future for the Brothers at St. Benedict’s, the monastery on the other side,” said the older boy.
“Do they give up their first sight, so they can have a second kind?”
“Yes, but not every nun gets the gift of second sight. It’s a risk they take. Sometimes they only go blind.”
“Talk less, work more, apprentice,” said Cook.
The two boys ducked their heads and redoubled their efforts. Sidelong glances and smirks of complicity passed between them.
The Tapestry – A.C. Worth
Strangers in the Night – David Whitaker
Nobody’s Daughters and the Tree of Life – L’Erin Ogle
The Foaling Season – Samuel Chapman
Q: Do you often include children in your stories? What role do they play?
A: I haven’t included many children in my stories, but when I have it’s usually been to illustrate an episode early in a character’s life. I don’t think of writing children any differently than any other characters, so they could play any role depending on the context of the story.
What’s most important to me when writing is that every character, even minor ones, has a sense of agency in their actions so I’m always wary of stories that treat children more like talking props or symbols of innocence rather than fleshed out individuals.
- The Foaling Season – Samuel Chapman
- Nobody’s Daughter and the Tree of Life – L’Erin Ogle
- Strangers in the Night – David Whitaker
- The Tapestry – A.C. Worth
- The Stars Don’t Lie – R.W.W. Greene
Cover art by Candra Hope.
Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
Samuel Chapman was born in Minnesota and raised in Wales. He lives in Walla Walla, WA, where he writes novels and short stories, fences at a classical salle, and works in water rights. In past jobs he’s been a land steward, tour guide, writing tutor, bookstore clerk, and crew on a tall ship.