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!
He Bears the Cape of Stars Contributor Spotlight: Veronica Sloane
Biography: Veronica Sloane has authored a novel, several short stories, some poetry, and twenty-two years worth of fanfic. She lives with one lovely spouse, one rambunctious clever child, and one sleepy cat.
Story Title: Escape Velocity from Fear
“I don’t mind sharing my hiding spot, but you’re on my foot.”
“Sorry!” Gunther jumped, moving his offending foot away.
“No problem. I get it – it’s a lot.”
His neighbor in the hiding spot was an average size, but surprisingly broad at the shoulders. He was wearing a dark-brown jacket, zippered all the way up like a suit. He had a tremendous nose that bumped out from his face and lovely, lush lips that were bisected diagonally by a scar. His eyebrows were thick and dark, matching his hair. He must have the longest hair of anyone in the room, the curls descending to sweep entirely over his forehead.
“I haven’t seen this many people in one place since graduation,” Gunther agreed, scanning the crowd for line green.
“Weren’t expecting that when you agreed to come?”
“I was,” he admitted. “I promised to meet a friend. I couldn’t back out.”
“I know the feeling. At least we’re not alone.”
She Wears the Midnight Crown Contributor Spotlight: Willa Blythe
Biography: Willa Blythe made her storytelling debut at age 4 with indie smash “Sam the Stinky Skunk,” and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Her first audience—her grandparents—shared a love of art and craft with her that remains central to Willa’s writing practice over thirty years later. Today, she lives in New York with her family and primarily writes queer romance and speculative fiction.
Willa’s stories have been published previously in Duck Prints Press’s Add Magic to Taste, and Zombies Need Brains’ Brave New Worlds.
Story Title: The Brightshadow Curse Breaker
Run, run, run, they are going to catch us.
Lyric’s feet flew over the cobbled streets of the market as she slipped through the swarm of bodies. Moonrise was in an hour, and people had already begun to spill from their work out into the last bit of light for the day, hurrying, scurrying home.
Can’t be out at night, can’t touch a stranger, can’t ever, ever, ever let the Beast see your face.
Behind her, she heard the Butcher calling her name. She put on speed, twisting through the masked populace, barely seeing them. They moved around her in a complex dance, one they improvised every morning and every night as they did their errands. Their clothing was mostly plain, but serviceable: simple garments of naturally dyed linen, cotton, hemp, and wool. But their masks glittered in the fading light, making rainbows from crystals that hung on beaded strands, or perfuming the air with little bouquets of fresh flowers attached with ribbon. Each mask – each face – bore its own purpose and name, and though Lyric did not know most of them, she knew the expression behind them, the one that almost everyone in the Dominion had worn since the Curse Speaker had created the Brightshadow Beast in their midst a thousand years ago.
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!