“Blighted Heart” in Beneath Ceaseless Skies


My Aztec-y short story “Blighted Heart” is now up in issue 22 of Beneath Ceaseless Skies:

For years my city gave the hearts of maidens to the corn-man to awaken him, but on the day I came to him I was no longer untouched by man. The priests were careless; they had checked the previous morning, but did not check again. Their mistake, and mine, for I had made love to a warrior on the evening before, out of pique, out of a desire to defy them for the last time before they took my innocence away. I was not thinking of the consequences at the time.

The corn-man was in a room at the top of the largest pyramid temple. I came in, half-carried by two warriors, to gaze on row upon row of expectant faces. Dozens of priests had gathered to watch the last sacrifice—mine. I could not breathe; fear constricted my chest with each step. Fear of pain. Fear of loss.

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