Our latest story
When winter comes to Vakning Forest, nothing changes. The evergreens, packed tightly together, don’t wilt or become bare. Nor does the smell fade. As the winter deepens, the snow covers the canopy like a blanket, and the scent of pine needles and pine cones follows the only path worn out of the darkness.
Outside the forest, where the path begins, is the cottage of Abi and Odo Tremord. It has a red roof, brown walls, and a whitewashed, waist-high fence. In the yard stands a pine tree, a sapling, half as tall as the forest.
While the kitchen looks out over the pine tree, Odo’s wood chopping block looks towards the forest. So it is that Odo is the first to notice any man exiting the forest.
It was always an adult, stumbling along the path on legs with newly formed muscles. The Tremords would take the man in, feed him, clothe him, and set him to bed. Then they’d teach him: wood chopping, speaking, etiquette. And when the season changed next, they’d see the colour on the horizon as the Bastler came trundling along, his wagon painted that garish orange. They would dress up the man in the finest clothes Abi had made, and all three would wait at the path’s end for the Bastler to arrive.
When he did, the Bastler would get off the wagon. He would wave his black cloak around for show, with its purple inner trim and the wolf fur on the cuffs, and he would flash a smile which showed off his pointy canines, stark against the perfection of his other teeth. He would inspect the man.
“The forest made you mighty,” the Bastler would say after checking the man’s teeth with his eyes and a finger. Then he would push the man into the back of his wagon and get back in front of the horses, and prepare to leave. “Does he know when to run and when to walk? I can’t set him to work if he can’t show common sense.”
The Forest of New People – Thom Connors
Time’s Arrow – C. Heidmann
The Stars Don’t Lie – R.W.W. Greene
The Tapestry – A.C. Worth
Q: If your writing style were a bird, what type of bird would it be and why?
A: Nah, a bird doesn’t work for me—unless maybe it could be a space-going bird! A bird is too limiting. It can only go as far as the atmosphere, around one tiny world, whereas I’d like to think my writing should be able to take me anywhere, out to the farthest reaches of the universe and beyond… into the multiverse, or whatever is outside our universe—and beyond even that.
Thom Connors writes from his Macbook where the ‘ ‘ key is missing. This means that he refuses to use wors with the letter ‘ ‘, wherever possible. As such, talking of his love for ‘ark fantasy tends to result in laughter. Thom’s longer works tend towards the fantasy fiction, while his shorter pieces are often general fiction.
Q: Do you have a garden? Have you ever grown your own food?
A: I grew up in rural Maine, and my family always had a garden and chickens. Summers I hayed, picked potatoes, and blueberry raked. Nowadays, I live in a smallish city, but we still do a garden every year, and there is nothing more satisfying than going outside and picking a salad. We also have a couple of apple trees that do well, a peach tree, a couple of quince trees, and blackberry bushes. My wife likes to can, so we get a lot out of the fruit. The asparagus does pretty well, too. About five years ago we got into beekeeping, not as much for the honey as to have the little guys around. They are good neighbors.