Michael Ehart


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Michael Ehart

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Writing Sample

WHO COMES FOR THE MOTHER’S FRUIT • BY MICHAEL EHART
NOVEMBER 17, 2007EVERY DAY FICTION

Timra dabbed at her eye. It was swollen and black, reflected in the water from the cistern. Omri had loosened a tooth this time, too. Behind her she heard steps and a few stifled gasps, as the other women from the village came for the morning water and saw her kneeling there, trying to soak the blood from her shift. They quietly filled their jugs and carried them away, whispering to themselves.
They had learned by now to say nothing. Omri’s fists were not for Timra alone, though he was unwilling to break the law of the long-dead Great King AmmurÄ?pi. His descendent Samsuditana also ruled by the law, and this close to Babylon even a small village like this, built around an ancient caravasary, had a stele with the code inscribed. So instead of beating the women who gossiped about him or comforted Timra, he would instead pummel their husbands.
She pressed the water from her shift, folded it under the water jar as a pad, and painfully made her way back to their house. Timra ignored the furtive glances, and concentrated on keeping the jar level on her head.
Their house was the largest in the village, but ill-kept. It had been her father’s house, and his father’s before him. There were still traces of the blue paint that had decorated the lintels when her father still lived. Inside it was mostly bare, the furniture sold or broken in one of Omri’s frequent drunken rages.
Timra poured water into a smaller jug, and carried it and a few left-over lentils to Nin-kara’s hut at the edge of the date orchard behind the house. Some people said that Nin-kara was older than the village itself, but however long her time on earth had been, it was coming to a close.
Timra pushed open the door to the hut. Inside it was dark and cool, the heat of the morning not felt here yet. Timra could hear Nin-kara’s harsh regular breathing from her cot in the corner. Not wanting to wake her, Timra quietly placed the bowl with the lentils and the jar of water on the old wooden bench that rested against the far wall and turned to leave.
“Wait, child,” rasped Nin-kara. “Bring me a drink before you go.”
Timra poured a little water into a wooden ladle, and brought it to edge of the bed. She guided Nin-kara’s hand to its handle. Nin-kara drank, then coughed.
“He has beaten you again, hasn’t he,” Nin-Kara said, her voice a little clearer.
“But, I — ” stammered Timra.
“I do not need eyes to see what my ears and nose can tell me. There is a smell of blood on you, and your step is uncertain.”
“Yes, Nin-kara. Last night he found me not to be obedient, and he chastised me.”
“And then took what little was left in the household, no doubt, and left for the city and its places of gambling and its brothels. I heard him last night, cursing and complaining as he stumbled down the road on his way to the city.”
“He is my husband, and I am a poor wife.”
“He is a brute, and has gambled and whored away all that your father left you.”
“He is my husband,” Timra sobbed.
“Yes. Well. I am old, and no longer have the respect for men I may have once had. But we have spoken of this before, and I fear you are weary of my words. We will talk of other things. What of the village?”
Timra leaned forward, glad of the excuse to change the subject. “I met a strange woman last night. She rode a horse, and carried a sword. I have never before seen a woman travelling alone, but she seemed unafraid and confident. Her face and arms were scarred, as if from many battles. She spoke to me as she rode past the house, asking the way to the caravansary. She said her words strangely, like the traders from far away sometimes do.”
Nin-kara coughed and gasped. “No!” she said.
“Yes, and Damara the carvansary keeper’s wife told me she sat at the table like a man, drank strong wine, and asked if there were any brave men about for hire.”
Nin-kara shook her head, a vague motion in the near darkness of the hut. “I have truly lived past the number of my days, to have such a one come to my village twice in my lifetime.”
“What do you mean, Nin-kara? I have lived here all my life, and never seen her before.”
“I was no more than ten summers old. She came, the Mistress of Tears, and lured away four men from our village, and a caravan guard.”
Timra sighed. “Dear Nin-kara, you are mistaken. This woman looks to be no older than I am.”
“She was old long before I was born. She serves a foul beast, who eats the flesh of men. Have you not heard the caravan song?
What will be destroyed   /   belongs to the Servant
Who comes for the mother’s fruit   /   and takes it away.
She is a destroyer,   /   a slayer of men.”

Timra stared, a thought forming in her head. “I must go, Nin-kara, before my husband returns. I must make the house ready for him.”
“You see!” Omri bellowed. “All it takes is a little of the back of my hand, and you step right into line. Perhaps I will not have to sell you to the brothel after all.”
Timra looked up from where she knelt before her husband. “Even more, oh husband. I have found how you might earn great treasure, and so restore our fortunes. There is a woman at the caravansary, who is hiring men of strength and courage. She promises high pay, great danger, long journey, bad company.”
Omri smirked. “A woman, eh? What a woman has, a man of strength can take. I will see her. You have done well, wife.”
“Yes,” Timra said, and smiled.

What I Write

Pulpy Goodness!

Website

http://mehart.blogspot.com/

Publications

Fantasy

“Night of Shadows, Night of Knives”

Magic and Mechanica Anthology

Ricasso Press

Coming soon!

The Servant of the Manthycore Series
“The Voice of the Spoiler”
First published in The Sword Review
October 2005
http://www.theswordreview.com/item.php?sub_id=228

Reprinted in Better Fiction
March 2006
http://www.lulu.com/content/252877
Reprinted in The Sword Review
June, 2007

“gritty; unusual and involving”
Tangent Online
Top Ten Finisher, Preditors & Editors Readers Poll
Best Fantasy Short Story, 2005

“The Servant of the Manthycore”
The Sword Review
April 2006

http://www.theswordreview.com/item.php?sub_id=431
“Reminiscent of the classic sword and sorcery tales by Robert E. Howard and Michael Moorcock; wickedly fun.”
Tangent Online
Top Ten Finisher, Preditors & Editors Readers Poll
Best Fantasy Short Story, 2006

“Weaving Spiders Come Not Here”

The Sword Review

August 2007

http://www.theswordreview.com/item.php?sub_id=497

 

“Nothing But Our Tears”

The Sword Review

September 2007

 

“The Scarlet Colored Beast”

The Sword Review

October 2007

 

The Servant of the Manthycore

Double Edged Publishing 2007

Foreword by Michael Moorcock

inc: “Voice of the Spoiler”, The Servant of the Manthycore”, “Love is the Slayer”,

“Weaving Spiders Come not Here”, “The Tears of Ishtar”, “Nothing but Our Tears”

“The Scarlet Colored Beast” and “Writing in the Bronze Age”

 

“Who Comes for the Mother’s Fruit”

Every Day Fiction

November 2007

 

“Stand, Stand, Shall They Cry”

Flashing Swords #8

November 2007
Top Ten Finisher, Preditors & Editors Readers Poll
Best Fantasy Short Story, 2007

“To Destroy All Flesh”
The Return of the Sword
An Anthology of Heroic Adventure
March 2008

“The First Trial of Jermaish the King”
Flashing Swords #10
May 2008
Horror

“Dancing with the Elder Gods”
Thirteen Magazine
October 2005

“Darkling I Listen; and for Many a Time”
Fear and Trembling
Fall 2007
“Outsourcing as only Michael Ehart can make it!”
Scott Sandridge

From the casebooks of Joe Denfar, Exorcist with Attitude:
“An Exorcism Straight, Hold the Elvis”
The Sword Review
October 2005
http://www.theswordreview.com/item.php?sub_id=274
“plays three card monte with the reader’s expectations and wins every time.”
Tangent Online

“Six Zombies Doing that Mick Jagger Strut”
Damned in Dixie: An Anthology of Southern Horror
Tenoka Press
Fall 2007

Science Fiction

“It’s a Living”
Byzarium
November 2005
http://www.byzarium.com/storyArchive/November2005.asp?storyName=Living
December Selection, Imaginary Word

“The View from the Shotglass Floor”
Ray Gun Revival
March 2006
http://www.raygunrevival.com/Published/RGR_0017_2007_03_01.pdf

“…goes down like a shot of your favorite adult beverage; short, fiery, and packs a wallop.”
Johne (Phy) Cook

“The Stars by Law Forbidden”
Unparalleled Journeys II
Journey Books
Fall 2007!
http://www.journeybookspublishing.com/

Other Stuff
“Only His Name”
Every Day Fiction
March 2008
“This is how it was done in the Good Old Days!”
Michael D. Turner

“Without Napier”
Every Day Fiction
April 2008
“This is a great story. I like so much about it, I’ll just say that I like so much about it.”
Kevin Shamel

Write-a-thon Goals

Writing Goals

2 Chapters of my WIP “Dancing with the Cannibal King”

Fundraising Goals

$100.00