Extract from The Bitterwood Bible at Tor.com!

handBecause apparently I live there now! No, really, last one, I promise. 🙂

The extract is from “The Maiden in the Ice”, with art from Kathleen Jennings.

“The Maiden in the Ice”

Rikke does not like crossing the ice.

Even during the harshest of winters, when the surface of the lake seems changed to bedrock, when it is frozen so thick you cannot see what lies below, even then, she does not like it. Ice is tricksy; it cannot be trusted. Rikke knows this—has known it ever since her little brother Geir went through four years ago. She still remembers, still re-imagines each year as the seasons change and grey frost-filled clouds gather, as the air cools and the stream and the lake become sluggish, until they stop moving altogether and households must break off chunks of freeze to dump in a pot above the fire for fresh water. She thinks how he looked, when they finally found him, days after an unseasonal thaw, at the spot to which the currents draw all debris, at the break in the earth where the flow spits out unwanted things. He was small, so terribly small, which meant he didn’t get caught on some sunken obstacle and stay beneath until the flesh and muscle decayed and released his bones to the depths. He was small and whole and pale, not even beginning to bloat, and his eyes had turned snow-storm white.

No, Rikke does not trust the ice.

The rest is here.

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