“Limestone, Lye and the Buzzing of Flies”: new story at Strange Horizons

Lower Fort Garry. Image by Shahnoor Habib Munmun.
Lower Fort Garry. Image by Shahnoor Habib Munmun.

My story “Limestone, Lye and the Buzzing of Flies” is up at Strange Horizons.

You can read it here, or listen to Anaea Lay’s podcast (which gave me shivers!) here.

I blogged already about what it means to me to have a story published there. Here are a few notes about the story itself.

First of all, I have to admit I’ve been a bit nervous about how autobiographical some parts of the story are on a superficial level, because I don’t want to give the impression I’ve depicted any real person (and even the places, while very real and very much a part of my own childhood in Manitoba, are seen at a slant.) So to protect the innocent, a disclaimer: The main character is not me, her family is emphatically not my family, and none of the other characters is real either.

“Limestone, Lye and the Buzzing of Flies” is a creepy fantasy story about what it was like to grow up next to Lower Fort Garry, a 19th century stone fort in Canada that has always been special to me. But more deeply, it’s about the way places hold on to their demons, and the weird little unspoken pathologies of colonialism.

And I’ve long been fascinated by the line in Saint Patrick’s Breastplate that asks for protection “against the spells of women and smiths and druids.”

Two songs run through my head whenever I think about this story: “Bizarre Love Triangle” by New Order and “Demons” by The National.

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