Cast of Wonders 294: Earn Your Breath (Artemis Rising 4)
Cast of Wonders is proud to present the fourth annual Artemis Rising event through March 2018! We have four original stories for you this year, guest-edited by assistant editor Katherine Inskip and associate editor Alexis Goble. This year’s artwork by Geneva Barton.
Artemis Rising is an annual month-long event across all four Escape Artists podcasts, celebrating the voices of women, non-binary, trans, and marginalized gendered authors in genre fiction. The resulting lineup is an incredible collection that celebrates the strength, ingenuity, and brilliance of the artists, the characters they create, and the performers that bring these stories to life. It also features the hosting, editing and production talents of a rotating cast. Part of the project’s mission is to give opportunities and experience in these publication roles traditionally held by men.
Don’t miss the full month of Artemis Rising stories across the Escape Artists podcasts!
Earn Your Breath
by Jaime O. Mayer
Liith had fought the Snake Island raiders every summer since her fifteenth year and had yet to taste defeat. She had dueled the boat-men of the north with their fish-belly white skin and won the pair of metal knives envied by many a man in her village. Yet, it was the sight of the latch on the cookshack door that filled her with dread. Gray Stone’s village elders said fate could not be changed, and she would rather die than prove them right. But each passing day brought her twentieth year closer, and her throat remained bare of a breath mark.
No, she still had time. A few days, but while time remained so too did hope. Liith shook her head, as much in defiance as to clear away her uncertainty. Squaring her shoulders, she marched to the cookshack door, a small parcel of food clutched in one hand.
The shack was a hastily made addition tacked onto the village’s cookhouse proper. The rough-cut planks joined at odd angles, providing meager protection from the elements. A slab of oak served as an ill-fitting door, its simple hook and latch installed at eye-height more to keep nosy children out than to keep the poor creature inside in.