Over the last couple of years, roughly 85% of the questions I get from readers include: is there gonna be another book in your The Girl from the Well series? Please let me know if there’s another book out! Will this be a trilogy? Does this mean Tark and Okiku’s story is over? I was hoping for more!
The bad news: As of now, there won’t be a new The Girl from the well novel coming out, and will currently remain a duology.
The good news: On October 25, 2016, I WILL be releasing a new The Girl from the Well short story in this blog, just because I can and also a big thank you to readers who’ve enjoyed traveling with Tark and Okiku over the last three years!
Even more good news: As a big thank you again, I’ll be offering some giveaways to commemorate as well! (and also, Tark, Okiku and I just love Halloween.)
What I’m giving away:
Handmade dolls of our resident ghost girl! (Perhaps a Tark doll, too? Would anyone be interested in a Tark doll?)
Handmade teru teru bozu dolls! (many Japanese shrines have paper versions of these when they want to pray for rain)
A paperback of THE SUFFERING!
And another ARC of THE SUFFERING!
Wait. An ARC, you say? But The Suffering came out last year!
Yep, but this ARC has a little something in it – a running commentary and margin notes / thoughts about the book that didn’t quite always make it to the final print! These will have a few explanations of why I wrote things a certain way, and other things that are probably not very useful in the greater scheme of things, but hopefully interesting nonetheless!
This is the only ARC I’ll be giving out with my own notes on it, so this will be a pretty unique item!
Giveaways will be on both Twitter and on this page! The Twitter giveaways shall commence / be announced on October 24, 2016. The short story and blog giveaways will be published here on October 25. All shall run until the end of Halloween on October 31!
This is the tale of Kapre, who lived in ancient trees tangled in shadow. Massive, stubbed fingers the color of faded coffee, scrabbling at tree trunk and bark for sustenance. Irises the color of twin moons, mouth the redness of withered santan. He shinnied up mountains in the heat of day, made nests of dried bones and rain at night. He could see himself in the twisted gnarl of branches, found comfort in the rigidness of bamboo. Nestled in the thickness of wood, Kapre could pretend friendship with plants and soil. Birds found homes within the snarls of his beard. Bees sought honey in the yellows of his eyes.
From his perch he could see Aswang fly past, skirts billowed out behind as her wings extend, grasping at wayward breezes. Her dress would lift up to ride the winds, high enough that Kapre could see the hollows of her breasts, the grey ripples of her waist that tapered into stumps where hips and legs ought to be. Aswangâ€™s mouth opened and closed, bloodied tongue flickering out to sample the lightness of air, savoring the freshest scent of newborn child or pregnant woman.
From his perch he could see Tikbalang down below, pawing at ground. The sound of hooves striking rock, of hands that constantly grasped and clenched at nothing, of the sharpness of teeth. The horse-man stood upright, preyed on unwary travelers and the lack of pavements. Kapre, Aswang, and Tikbalang shared body space in the forests of San Lorenzo, because choice was not a commodity.
Ironic, that the pickings grew slimmer with the explosion of humanity. Villages burst in size and mind. Fewer children were considerate enough to wander out alone; generations of warnings and superstitions passed down, whipped into their bloodstream. Strong men foraged together with heavy axes and stout cudgels, and even monsters learned to fear the beat of heavy footsteps, the flickers of torchfire. Centuries of living made them soft.
Kapre endured. There was a sweetness to berries and mushrooms that human flesh did not have. Aswang laughed at him, and Tikbalang mocked his sustenance, but nourishment was nourishment whether it grew on ground or came with blood and entrails. Aswang and Tikbalang retreated into the observance of convention and tradition, catching unlucky humans during luckier months. Kapre remained on treetrops, crunching nuts and small lizards by the light of the moon.
Read the whole story at: Philippine Genre Stories