Print anthology by San Diego Writers, Ink., edited by Laurel Corona and Jericho Brown
This is available in print only. This is the fourth annual literary anthology from San Diego Writers, Ink. Only two authors use genre fiction in this - mine is fantasy, another horror. This is a collection of exceptionally well-done poetry and prose.
It is available at Powell's Books and Amazon.com.
"Somewhere overhead, flies buzzed and a hawk called. Tall grass swayed in the breeze, tickling his face and arms. He breathed raggedly, open-mouthed, the only human sound around. Beyond the smell of blood and death, the scent of wheat still lingered, drifting to his nose, his mind. The smell of good earth and green grass; it was the smell of life to a ploughman.
He touched again the blade that pinned him to the earth. Slick with oil and his own blood, it had resisted his attempts to pull it from his belly. He’d lacerated his fingers trying; now he was too weak to do anything but try to push it away.
He had never meant to be a soldier. He’d never wanted to wear the leather for his king, never wanted to go into battle with an axe in hand. An axe was meant for trees and stumps. It wasn’t meant to be used on another. His axe was steel and oak, and lay just out of reach. He had always planned to use it until the grave, never knowing how close that would be.
His king had called him, and he, a man of the plough, had come."
I suggest supporting independent bookstores, by ordering through Portland, Oregon-based Powell's Books.