Henry Szabranski’s story “In the Belly of the Angel” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 29 January 2016.
I’m a visual thinker. The inspiration for “In the Belly of the Angel” came from a single, sudden, unbidden image: of a large orangutan-like ape, squatting atop a pile of human bones, its wispy hair stirred by a strong breeze as it contemplated an opening in the floor of a vast, bird-filled chamber floating far above the ground.
The birds didn’t make it into the final story, but most of the other elements of this image did.
The setting is the world of Othasu, with Thranrak one of the seven cities of the Heptatheon, a society ruled by the seven god moons that orbit above the planet. Quite a lot of world-building for a single short story, but Othasu is the milieu for several of my other published stories (“Dance of the Splintered Hands” and “Against the Venom Tide”), and also my first novel attempt.
Speaking of novels, “In the Belly of the Angel” could easily be the first two chapters of one. I’ve even written part of the third chapter: Freya’s crash landing, her discovery by the inhabitants of the strange land she finds herself in, her reluctant recruitment to the cause of the gods, and the start of her perilous journey back to Thranrak on a quest to set free her mother and bring justice to the City Justice…
One day I may even find the time to write it.
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