Damaris Browne is a former solicitor whose ancestors include Spanish aristocrats, Somerset horse-dealers, numerous soldiers of various ranks from private to general, and one wife-murderer.
When not writing about SF alien judges and fantasy characters in historical settings (not yet both in the same novel), she spends her time reading, gardening, ignoring housework, and hanging around at SFFChronicles, where she’s a moderator known as The Judge. She lives with her husband, cat, and a lot of books on the edge of the New Forest National Park in England.
Akiowa sat with her back against a fir, looking out over the vast lake and its islands, occasionally brushing ants from her skirts, wishing she could push her thoughts away so easily. But the ants kept coming back as well, so perhaps there was no difference after all. The spear … Continue reading
“Welcome, Storyteller,” said the woman, as laughing girls and young children danced around Akiowa. “I am Nadie. Forgive my man for not greeting you, but the menfolk are all out hunting.” No, not all, for a boy of perhaps twelve years stood watching, a scowl on his face. His left … Continue reading
Akiowa stood gazing at the totem. Remembering. Grieving. It was blue-grey stone fashioned like an eagle, nothing like the white wolf of her clan, its festival decorations sprays of spring blossom not the colourful craftwork her people would have enjoyed making. Yet its spirit was the same, and memories of … Continue reading
As the echoes of the Storyteller’s call faded, excited laughter filled the air. Children rushed towards Akiowa, long-legged boys whooping as they ran, girls holding hands, toddlers waddling behind. Joy streamed from every child. No. Not every child. A lone girl of perhaps ten summers caught Akiowa’s eye. Three times … Continue reading
The spear again pushed her forward, but Akiowa held her ground behind a large pine. “No,” she said. “I don’t want to meet them.” For some time, torn between curiosity and dismay, she’d been covertly watching the people bustling around on the far side of the frozen river. Curiosity, for … Continue reading
“… and so despite all the hardships and the tricks of the envious, the Starlight Weaver and the White Moon Hunter joined hands at the first sunset of the beginning time. And ever after they have lit the night sky, for they wish us to remember their love and happiness, … Continue reading
Akiowa stopped well short of the village, expecting the spear to give her the Storyteller’s call, but it urged her further forward. She stopped again at the well-tended fields of beans and maize, then at the nearest dwelling. Still the spear pushed her on. The village seemed deserted save for … Continue reading
Akiowa gave a sigh, part relief, part longing. The spear had kept her in the mountains since leaving the miners, and she’d yearned to see – and walk on – something more pleasurable than deep snow and bare rock. Now at last she was overlooking a lush valley full of … Continue reading
At last! Akiowa had lost track of how long she’d been walking towards the mountains, though awe at their magnificence had long since faded into acceptance. But here were the foothills, and the spear was guiding her towards a great cleft in the rock. Excitement claimed her. The silver miners’ … Continue reading
I am free, I am happy. I am free, I am happy. Akiowa repeated the words over and over as she walked along the ravine floor. She’d fallen into the habit to stop herself fretting about what being the Storyteller would mean – how could she live another person’s life? … Continue reading