“Like Diamond Tears From Emerald Eyes”

Published on July 16, 2009 by

My sword & sorcery story “Like Diamond Tears From Emerald Eyes” is now available at Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show. The issue also includes a story by Darren Eggett, who lived across the street from my family when we lived in Bountiful, Utah, during the 1980s.

Here’s how my story begins:

Larindo and I were standing guard at the entrance to Krankel’s Fine Jewelry and Loan Emporium when the bride arrived in town. She stepped down from her horseless carriage and into the volcanic ash that covered the road. Her dress must have been enchanted somehow — it managed to stay spotless white as she swept across the street and into Blat’s Tavern next door.

“Pretty lady,” said Larindo.

I wrinkled my nose. “Couldn’t tell, what with the veil.” But I knew what he meant. Larindo wasn’t overly smart, but he knew pretty things when he saw them. As long as he didn’t try to touch them, I could usually keep him out of trouble.

Krankel must have been watching through the window, because he poked his head out of his shop. “Who’s getting married? Nobody’s bought a ring!”

“I have no idea,” I said. “One of the adventurers at the tavern — or more likely, one of them left her at the altar, and she’s finally tracked him down.”

“Humph. Fancy carriage like that, she’s gotta be rich.” Krankel stepped back into his shop, then re-emerged with a small black case. “I’ll see if she’s in the market for any wedding jewels. You guys hold the fort.”

“Got it, boss.” I patted the hilt of my sword as he headed toward the tavern.

A few minutes later, the bride came out of the tavern, with Krankel trailing behind her. Her veiled head turned toward us, stopped, and then she strode in our direction.

I assumed she was coming to the shop to see more jewels, until I heard Krankel’s voice. Rather than his usual sycophantic manner toward the wealthy, he was arguing with her. “.  .  . cannot be left defenseless. You must see that.”

“There are plenty of men in that bar. Hire them.” The bride’s voice sounded clear as glass bells from behind her veil, which obscured her face so that I only caught a glimpse of its outline.

“If I wanted to hire them, I already would have,” said Krankel.

The bride swept to a stop in front of Larindo and me. Her veiled face tilted as if she were looking me up and down, then did the same to Larindo. She took longer on him, since I’m only five foot two, and he’d stand a hair over eight feet tall if he weren’t completely bald.

“I need a wizard and a warrior for a little job,” she said. “I’ll pay your year’s salary for only a few hours’ work.” She opened a small velvet pouch and poured a half-dozen diamonds into her palm.

To read the rest, you’ll need to buy the issue. It’s only $2.50.

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