Fiction Vortex 2014 Horror Issue

Horror 2014 4th Place: Collection

When does the strange become commonplace, horror the norm? In Collection, Rebecca Ann Jordan takes us to another world of dark seasons and demons where community is everything and a mistimed union damns them all. — Johnny Worthen
By Rebecca Ann Jordan

I wish that death were more final.

One year ago, Evangeline’s mother, Maya, was beheaded. They sent her body back to be dropped in a river, buried, worshipped, melted, or eaten in the respective traditions of the five villages. As is right and good.

I oversaw the feast preparations myself — Maya was my only daughter, after all, and a man has certain obligations when it comes to selecting just the right spice. Maya had always been a devoutly contrary woman. Cayenne would go well with her.

Jacobi, Evangeline’s father, clutched his little girl in his fat cacao arms. He dwarfed her; at six, she was a frail, spindly thing, with a head that was too big for her body, and eyes that were like the pits our hunters dug to catch tigers — yawning. Sharp-edged. Consuming everything that dared to step near. That was the reason I had never really held my granddaughter’s gaze. I was afraid of being swallowed.

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Best of 2013 – Promised Land

It’s not often that an idea can be simultaneously gross and fascinating. But it’s also not often that you hear the term “bugshot.” Fortunately, Rebecca Ann Jordan gave us all that and the accompanying heeby-jeebies in her science fiction story Promised Land. Oh, and the rest of the story is pretty awesome, too. You know, in case you needed another reason to like it.

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Art by David Revoy/ Blender Foundation

Promised Land

By Rebecca Ann Jordan

“It will not come to that.”

“But what if it does?”

If it did, Ariadne would be out of the ruling family. She didn’t dare speak up. But she watched her father rub his neglected chin and silently listened to the voices in her head.

“We will attack at dawn.” Nightfall, then. Lies for the cameras hovering nearby, relics from before the End, rediscovered a decade ago. Polished up, now they relayed what the enemy saw and heard on the other side of the field. “And if it fails, we will propose a duel. Captain Halmon will fight.”

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