"In the Grove of Sickle Grass"

The story is now up at Reflection's Edge, once again with an amazing turn-around time between acceptance and publication. The story is labeled as fantasy/horror, and the teaser reads:
Names are sacred things, dangerous things, a fact which Timn and his cousin know well. And on the day they enter a secret grove to collect a wedding gift, a grove where names can cost you everything, they're careful to guard against such dangers. But the old monkey is watching - and some things simply can't be prepared against.
It's funny that that label jumps out at me. It's accurate--it really is a horror story--but I just never see myself as a horror writer, so at the same time it sort of surprises me. (It's not a horror story in the sense of gore or anything, for what it's worth.) And I'm not at all opposed to psychological-type horror stories. Some of my own stories can be pretty dark. It just seems a bit...odd.

Where did the story come from? Hmm. This was another of the one-hour story prompts from one of my critique groups--I think the prompt involved a ritual of some sort. Something like that anyway. I just went back, and we try to do these every week, though it hasn't been quite that regular lately. Anyway, in March of 06 I did four of those quick writes, and each of them has now been published. If that's not enough incentive to get myself back into the habit and discipline of doing them, then I need a good smack on the head.


Beth said…
ooh, creepy monkey...

If's it not obnoxious to ask, what's your critique group(s)? I'm shopping for one that doesn't require $ / my writing to meet any kind of standard.
Daniel Ausema said…
Hey, Beth--glad you liked it. It's not at all obnoxious to ask. I'd rather answer over email, if that's all right. So email me at dausem10 [at] hotmail [dot] com.