“Bird-Dropping and Sunday”

Published on August 6, 2010 by

Five years ago, I wrote a short story entitled “Bird-Dropping and Sunday” for the Codex Fairy Tale Contest.   It took first place in the contest, so I then set about trying to find a publisher.

It took me seventeen submissions over four years.   Every other story I’ve sold, I’ve sold within the first five submissions.   But I believed in this story — especially since people loved it when I read it aloud at readings — so I kept submitting it.

And it’s taken more than a year since it was accepted, but it is finally in print, in The Immersion Book of Science Fiction. Here’s the table of contents:

  • Al Robertson – “Golden”
  • Tanith Lee – “Tan”
  • Chris Butler – “Have Guitar, Will Travel”
  • Jason Erik Lundberg   – “The Time Traveler’s Son”
  • Colin P Davies – “Dolls”
  • Anne Stringer – “Grave Robbers”
  • Aliette de Bodard – “Father’s Last Ride”
  • Gord Sellar – “The Broken Pathway”
  • Eric James Stone – “Bird Dropping and Sunday”
  • Gareth Owens – “Mango Dictionary and the Dragon Queen of Contract Evolution”
  • Lavie Tidhar – “Lode Stars”

You can buy the book at the links below. As of this writing, Barnes & Noble is the cheapest ($8.64 – 28% off).

To whet your appetite, here’s how the story begins:

Merklas the Glass Giant holds the Sun on his shoulder as he paces from East to West across the earth.   Does the heat of the Sun singe his fingers?   Do his giant feet crush houses and trees beneath them with each hundred-mile step?   Will he ever get a day to rest from his labors?   These are all good questions, my child, and if you have patience they will all be answered.

But not today.   For this is not the tale of Merklas the Glass Giant.

There once was a woman who lived in the left shoe of Merklas.   (And she may live there to this day, if she is not dead.)   Like the giant himself, the shoe was made of glass so clear you could see right through it and not know anything was there.   If the glass was clean, that is.   That was the job of the woman: to clean the giant’s left shoe.   Keeping the whole shoe free from dirt was more work than she could handle alone, but she had seven children of her own to help her.   Their names were Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

The woman also had one child not her own.   One day an eagle stole a baby boy from his crib.   As the bird returned to its nest with its prize, it flew headlong into the left knee of Merklas.   The baby fell from the eagle’s claws and landed in a glass bucket of soapy water that the woman was using as she cleaned.   She fished him out by his ankles and decided to keep him.   So she took him into her little glass house inside the arch support of the glass shoe, wrapped him in a glass blanket, and placed him in a glass bed.

With seven children of her own, why did the woman decide to keep the baby?   Where was her husband?   What did she think about everyone being able to see through the glass into her home?   These are all good questions, my child, and if you have patience they will all be answered.

But not today.   For this is not the tale of the woman who lived in the giant glass shoe.

It is the tale of the foundling boy.

Buy the book to read the rest.

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