Take a runty warrior and a slow-witted wizard who have been contracted by a veiled bride willing to pay diamonds to anyone who would fetch an oh so precious box from the castle of a dead wizard. A castle from which no adventurers have returned. Well, except for Thogar the Mighty. Of course, he’s now Thogar the One-Armed Madman. But let’s not quibble.
At first blush you might think, whopee, another fantasy quest. But this isn’t another quest. This is an Eric James Stone quest, and it’s full of surprises.
I was fortunate enough to hear Stone read his story at CONduit this May. He takes his listener on a ride full of humor and adventure. Then, if you’re like me, he will make your heart lurch. I loved this story down to the last line which is pure poetry.
You can find it in issue 13 of Orson Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show.