Dark Tales and Twisted Verses by @libraryoferana is a BHW pick #darkfantasy #horror #poetry #bookish
Title: Dark Tales and Twisted Verses
Author: A L Butcher
Genre: Dark Fantasy/Horror/paranormal/poetry
Dark tales of ghosts of war, blood from the Autumn of Terror, the wrath of nature, an unusual murder and a cynical vampire. Twisted poetry of loss and mayhem.
Some adult themes and language.
The Dancer whirled and twirled in the field, clad in nought but leaves of gold, red and bronze, on her skin of moss green and brown. Her legs splayed wide as the roots they were before they snapped together with the crack of wood on wood. Arms weaved, branches all, in the complicated ritual only her kind knew and scattered about acorns for the birds, squirrels and other creatures who knew her secrets. Wind curled around her, laden with moisture and clouds of ash-grey tumbled in the sky. Yet the Dancer had seen it all before, year after year, the Dance continued. Even when the Goddess had become angry at the human meddling and brought the storms which battered human, beast and tree alike. Of late the Goddess was angered a good deal, and the land suffered.
This year, as so many times before she had been Dancing since the Spring brought the thaw, and tentative green coloured her limbs. A slow Dance, unsure, just awakened from slumber yielded to the frenzy of the summer, with her crown of brightest green and the glory of her canopy. Yet she knew, as did all her kind, that such dances could not last. Such power, such energy, such glory called for a price and so once more her dance was closing. Some fell to the wind; some fell to sickness or weakness, and some to the axe. Some fell when the Great Slumber came, the land froze, and the sun hid and when the Goddess slept. Each year the dance became a little harder, the wind a little stronger, and the summer a little shorter and the Goddess despaired all the more.
She did not rate the passing of time as you and I might do. Her time was the march of the seasons, the rhythm of the Dance and the Growing Time. Yet each one brought a little less and took a little more.
This Dancer was old, for she’d been born long before the coming of the machines; before the mighty metal birds who roared far above, and before the destructive monkeys wrought their worst. She had Danced when all was young and supple, flicking back and forth – yet not confident. The elders had looked on, and shaken branches which had said – youth of today, no staying power – but one by one they had left the Dance. And now only she remained. She had danced when the wagons had rolled past, and the horses had ploughed the fields to the east. And she had danced when the axes came. Why she had been spared, the Dancer knew not and so she danced and grew ever larger. But the Great Dance had to end. As the last of her leaves swirled to the ploughed earth, a winding sheet of her own making, the drone of the chainsaw started. The time for the Last Dance was over and the Goddess wept.
British-born A. L. Butcher is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as ‘evocative’. She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be.
Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and the Tales of Erana lyrical fantasy series. She also has several short stories in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with occasional forays into gothic style horror, including the Legacy of the Mask series. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth, her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavour in her work, mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her characters and worlds to life.
She also curates speculative fiction themed book bundles on BundleRabbit - for the most part - the Here Be Series
Alex is also proud to be a writer for Perseid Press where her work features in Heroika: Dragon Eaters, Heroika Skirmishers – where she was editor and cover designer as well as writer and Lovers in Hell – part of the acclaimed Heroes in Hell series. http://www.theperseidpress.com/
Outside the Walls, co-written with Diana L. Wicker received a Chill with a Book Reader’s Award in 2017.
NN Light Book Heaven awards:
The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales won the best fantasy for 2018
Echoes of a Song - one of her Phantom tales – won the best fantasy in 2019
Tears and Crimson Velvet won the best Short Story category in 2020
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