Welcome to She Wears the Midnight Crown and He Bears the Cape of Stars, two brand-new anthologies that share a common theme – masquerades – but tell different types of stories – wlw in She Wears the Midnight Crown and mlm in He Bears the Cape of Stars. These collections are the latest titles from Duck Prints Press, the indie publisher founded by fans to publish original works by fan creators, and they’re crowdfunding NOW, only on Seed & Spark!
Curious about the collections? Well, here’s a sneak peek of the works of two of our creators!
She Wears the Midnight Crown Contributor Spotlight: S. Z. Meriläinen
Biography: Satu Meriläinen grew up exploring the Great Barrier Reef off Queensland, Australia, and foraging through pine forests in rural Finland. Now she lives with her wife and two dogs in Melbourne. She adores fantasy and science fiction with sprinklings of magical realism. In her spare time, she sings along loudly to any song she knows, cross stitches, bangs out a few sentences at a time, and plays video games badly.
Story Title: Carved of Ice and Snow
Tendrils of ice had squirmed beneath it and were winding their way towards the stranger’s supine body. Siofra lunged forward and stomped her heels hard into the ice, shattering it below her heel. It splattered the floor with shards and mud from the tread of her boots. Muttering, she glared at the tendrils, which quickly slunk back to linger, uncertainly, by the door. To vent her frustration, she sent her kicked-off boots to thud against the door above them.
Despite her anger, the ice tendrils lingered. Siofra almost fancied they were wistfully waiting for a chance to reach for…
She turned to the stranger, moving closer to kneel by their side. Despite the heat filling the room, the snow that coated them was still intact. Siofra brushed it away with brisk swipes of her hands, hands travelling up the stranger’s body, fingertips trailing over powerfully built muscles. The stranger was, so far as Siofra could tell, a normal elvish—no, human, judging by the rounded ears—woman who wore a loose dress dyed in irregular starbursts of colour that shifted like sunlight off a flowing stream.
He Bears the Cape of Stars Contributor Spotlight: Maggie Page
Biography: Maggie Page lives in Texas with family, including her incorrigibly clumsy mom with a green thumb, two silly dogs who are also mother and daughter, and a fierce feline hunter. Maggie has previously published several poems and a piece of flash fiction with collegiate and independent journals.
When not indulging the urge to write, Maggie enjoys music, traveling, camping, dabbling in various art forms, principally watercolor and graphic making, and torturing her loved ones with her ruthless board game victories.
Story Title: Sincerely and Enigmatically Yours
“You’re all ready. Paid in full.” Felicia fussed with the card attached to the aubergine ribbon tied around the vase. “I do hope you enjoy them; be sure to pay close attention to the note.”
“Thank you. Have a nice day.”
Felicia winked. “You too, dear.”
Stepping out the door felt like leaving another dimension. He carried his prize as if the plants harbored a little bit of magic and settled the bouquet carefully into his car. Unable to resist his curiosity, Marcelo reached for the card. Inside, he found a poem like those in the adventure stories he’d read as a child.
A rose for love is too cliché
to express what I would say.
These blooms for you instead convey
noble qualities you display:
You never do a thing halfway.
When others go, you always stay.
You take the time to savor play.
One final hint with no delay:
The liar wetly will relay,
“In company, I hide away
among the twins and scales that weigh.”
Intrigued? You should be! But, if you want to read the rest of these stories you’ll need to back our campaign, running now through July 14th, 2022!