I am very excited that my short story UnTamed has been picked to be part of the UnCommon Bodies Anthology, a collection of 20 beautifully irreverent stories which blend the surreal and the mundane. Here is a short excerpt from UnTamed a stand alone story in the RUBY IYER futureverse.
Wolf girl Leana Iyeroy, the first hybrid in her family, only ever wanted to be 100% human. An unexpected encounter with the Hugging Saint of Bombay forces Leana to face the wolf inside her. Will she finally make peace with herself? A magic-realist, coming-of-age tale.
“Your stories are very amusing, old man, but now that you know who I am, I have to kill you,” I pull grandmother’s sword out from its sheath. Everyone in this new world has been looking for this sword and I inherited it a few weeks ago. Me, the first half-human descendant of the woman who destroyed Bombay.
Pulse racing, I rush forward, bringing the blade down on him; but he moves aside and I slide past and bang my head against the railing of the boat. I spring back to my feet and waltz around him, ready to leap.
He’s looking at me, arms hanging by his sides. He seems not in the least surprised. Then, he raises a hand and beckons, one side of his lips quirking in a smile. Blood thudding in my ears, I jump towards him, and again he steps aside; only this time he puts out his foot and I stumble over it and crash, face down, right at the feet of the other two, who burst out laughing.
“You sure fight like a girl,” the fisherman snickers.
What the—! Is he making fun of me?
Anger blasts through my head, filling the space behind my eyes. The hair on my forearms stands on end, bristling like spears; my nostrils quiver, leg muscles tense and I grip my sword.
“Came to learn from the master swordsman himself, did you?” the baker chuckles.
“What do you mean?” I growl, already swinging to face the old lamp seller.
“He’s Aki, the best swordsman in the islands; perhaps in all of this new world. And he’s been waiting for you,” The fisherman replies.
“Oh! Yeah? Has he now?” I sneer and, pushing the fisherman aside, I lunge once more at the lamp seller. One step, a second, a third, and I leap through the air–Didn’t see that coming did you old man?–and fall head down against the wooden floor.
The breath whooshes out of me and my nose slams against the wooden boards. I hear the sickening crunch of it breaking and pain shoots through me, screeching through my nerve endings, so I almost black out. My hands are flung out, the right gripping the sword and I scream as a heavy weight crunches on my palm, forcing me to loosen my fingers.
“No! No! No!” He’s wrenched my sword from my grasp and is holding it aloft.
“Don’t you dare!” I grind out through clenched teeth.
He grins and, still looking at me, tosses the sword up in the air.
What the–? I follow the blade as it whirls around and up and up and up, ‘til it is silhouetted against the sun. It drops down, hilt up. Grabbing the sword by the blunt side, he swings the handle towards me.
A scream boils up, then everything goes dark.
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