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KING ARTHUR’S SISTER IN WASHINGTON’S COURT
Mark Twain as channeled by Kim Iverson Headlee
Official genre of book: Science Fiction – Fantasy crossover
“Pray, proceed, Darla, as I seem to have paid for it.”
“This is about a man—the dishy one you’re always coming in here with.”
“Brilliant. Yes, the dishy one. Dishy, and treacherous.” I took a long pull of bitters.
“Lor’ love ye, madame; but all men are treacherous! If you’re lucky, that’s all he is.”
I reflected, through another draught, upon this spot of rough wisdom. Of all the men I had ever known, biblically or not, in this century or any other, the only man I could not label as “treacherous” was Sir Galahad, and we all know what happened to him. For the couple of you who might not be privy to the story: in brief, Sir Galahad drank from the Holy Grail and fell down dead, reportedly because his soul was so pure that Our Lord God bustled him straightaway to heaven. The fact that Sir Galahad had always acted so damned self-righteous that his Grail-hunting companions had wearied of his holier-than-thou ways probably had nothing whatever to do with his demise. I said:
“I have treachery aplenty in my life, Darla.” Free agents, not-free agents, other players, managers, coaches…the list seemed endless. “I do not need more from Sandy Carter.”
“But you do need his love.”
I shook my head. “With love like that…”
She was not listening, but had looked toward the line of tall windows fronting the street, across which arched the words “nnI dleiftuO” and, in a revolving pattern of white, blue, and red tube-lights, “NEPO.” I would have taken umbrage at the offense—the server’s, not the fact that the words in the windows appeared backward to my vantage—but I had imbibed too much beer to care.
Darla said, “You need his love…and he needs yours. Look.”
|Jennifer Doneske & Tom Doneske developed the interior illustrations. Jennifer also developed the papercover and hardcover dust jacket.|
Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet. She has been an award-winning novelist since 1999 (Dawnflight first edition, Sonnet Books, Simon & Schuster) and has been studying the Arthurian Legends for nigh on half a century.