When I saw the call for submission for Dawg Days, I knew I had to pen a tale to submit. I already have one shifter book on the market, An Erie Halloween, from Torquere Press. Another in the series, An Erie Operetta, will be released in early 2015. For this anthology I wanted to do something a bit different but wasn`t sure what. Then I stumbled across some Kurdish folk music while looking for a music prompt to share with my local writers group. And there it was. The answer to what I would submit. With that beautiful music as inspiration, I crafted an M/M fantasy short story called Night of the Jackal about two jackal shifters on a world far different than ours.
Sahl and Jasim are outcasts. Alone on a world covered with shifting sands, the two males live and love day by day, eking out an existence. One night, hunger drives Jasim, the largest of the two jackal shifters, into recklessness. Leaving Sahl behind, Jasim crosses the river in the hopes of stealing from the resting caravan.
It is Sahl that relays the story of this night. Of how he, the weaker of the pair, must face many dangers to locate, and hopefully free, his lover from a terrible fate. Can Sahl find his mate in time, or will both males end up as new pelts upon the Madr Pash drying racks?
I groom myself as I wait, seated under the cool gaze of the moon sisters. I clean my snout with my paw as a slow drum beat erupts from the Madr camp. I am not aware of when our kind left the other humans. We know hatred from the non-skin wearers caused us to move into the desert. That is all we know of it. That slight has never been forgiven. The travelling bands use us as a means to frighten their children, telling them sand jackals will carry them off if they wander from camp. I have never stolen a child. I have found their small bones in the sands and gnawed upon them, for the core is tasty. This caravan is known as Madr Pash. They are famed for being great hunters. My stomach rumbles. Oh, what I would give for a fish! A large red one such as we see rising to the surface of the river when the sun brothers kiss the moon sisters in greeting.
A shout from the Madr camp startles me. My head jerks to the side. The sound was quick, sharp, but still it lingers in the wide width of my pointed ears. I shoot to my paws. Jasim! A loud hoot bounces over the silver sands. A dark fear overtakes my heartbeat. I shake the dread away. Jasim needs my help. Even if I am the smaller one in size, I am just as stalwart as Jasim. I jump from the rock to the craggy riverbed. The going is slow, difficult. My paws slip into between the smooth, wet rocks. Across the river, voices rise in song. Clapping erupts. I pick my way along, wincing when a claw is bent backward. The moon sisters are fat. They guide me.
More V.L. Locey Torquere Press books:
Two Guys Walk Into An Apocalypse (Part of the He Loves Me For My Brainssss anthology), Two Guys Walk Into An Apocalypse 2:It Came From Birmingham, Love of the Hunter, Goaltender`s Penalty, All I Want for Christmas, Every Sunday at One (Part of the 2013 Charity Sip Anthology).
Coming soon . . .Two Guys Walk Into An Apocalypse 3:He`s A Lumberjack And He`s Undead and Early To Rise-A Toms & Tabbies Series tale.