Meant to post about this earlier, and then it slipped clean out of my mind (July wasn’t a good month for my brain-alignment).
I’ve sold “As the Wheel Turns” to GUD for their issue 6 (Spring 2010), a short story of multiple lives in a Chinese universe (complete with karmic wheel of rebirth, psychopathic ancestor spirits, and random Barbarian invasions).
It was workshopped on OWW under the title “Dai-Yu’s Choice”, where it received feedback from the usual suspects: Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, Linda Steele (who was kind enough to crit it in tremendous detail), and Chris Kastensmidt (whose unshakable faith in that one proved right). Thanks everyone for helping me whip it into shape!
EDIT: posted this a little too quickly, and forgot about the uber-awesome Marshall Payne, whose line-edits were super-helpful, as usual.
Prologue: the Wheel
In the Tenth Court of Hell, stands the Wheel of Rebirth.
Its spokes are of red, lacquered wood; it creaks as demons pull it, dragging its load of souls back into the world.
And before the Wheel, stands the Lady.
Every soul who goes to the Wheel must endure her gaze. Every soul must stop by her, and take from her pale hands the celadon cup, and drink.
The drink is herbs gathered from the surfaces of ponds, tears taken from the eyes of children, scales from old, wise dragons. To drink is to forget; for no soul can come back into the world remembering past lives, or the punishments meted out to it within the other Courts of Hell.