The prophecy says the revolution will be born in the jaw of a sleeping beast.
Rabbit’s tooth just wiggled.
1898, Catskills, alternate America:
Two hundred years ago, Whitetail’s grandmother signed a contract on behalf of all the Dirty foremothers. They cast aside their worship of the Wilds and its magic-giving power. In return, anti-magic Freemen agreed to spare them from male violence.
Now orphanage headmistress Whitetail has sprouted antlers -- proof of a violated contract. When her benefactor visits, proposing marriage, Whitetail’s appearance sparks abuse. After all, she’s looking macabre. And… pregnant by another? Orphan Rabbit’s cursing the man to winter, kills him. As Freemen police clamor in, Whitetail’s arrested for unsanctioned practices.
In prison, Whitetail’s future becomes clear: If she’s found guilty, Freemen will execute her by burning --Flames will destroy the locked-away female revolution they’d thought was a baby in her belly -- Worse, they’ll use the antlers they just sawed off her head to cast a final cleansing, eradicating female magic for
And to ensure that the jury finds her guilty, Freemen have enlisted adopted daughter Rabbit as their star witness. For Rabbit, a revolution doesn’t seem like a bad idea, all she needs is a sign. In fact, with her magic at stake, she’s got nothing left to lose. Except... maybe a tooth.
Complete at 89k words, NECROLOGY is an Adult Historical Gothic Fantasy written from the point of view of a noble, yet imperfect mother, and the daughter she’d raised to celebrate herself. It may appeal to fans of Alexis Henderson’s feminist The Year of the Witching, or readers in search of historical reimaginings like Alix E. Harrow’s, The Once and Future Witches.
“Rabbit has just warned me, I am to flee with the children to the woods to escape the man you call Beard. That you’ll be taking care of him for me? That right?” Whitetail asks.
“Yes, ma’am.” Rook looks redeemed, verging on hopeful. He stops glowering at Rabbit and straightens up.
Whitetail stoops, bending down over the rail to look at Rook more closely. His big, dark eyes widen as her proximity brings her long black braid over her shoulder in his direction like a snake. Rabbit feels like pulling the braid back like a rope that would keep Whitetail focused on her for once. Set a bell ringing that Rabbit played a huge part in this master plan, too. Not just Rook.
“I thank you, Rook. Your offer is selfless. But know this, a woman who needs a man for protection is forever kept in his shadow. You know, well as anyone, that your shadow is not where I’ll wait. Besides, you could plan to kill the Beard. But remember, you can ask a man to accompany you to the Grimm’s doorstep, but he’ll invite you both in for tea. Are you ready for death to offer you tea?”
Rook’s eyes glass over. “I don’t want your spirit hurt.”
“This situation, like any, requires being seen through to the end. And if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times, boy, it’s amazing what the spirit can cope with to preserve the body. My spirit is a mighty oak that just won’t fall. Now, take this bread. Don’t come home until after dark.”
Handing him a bundle wrapped in a cloth, she knocks her chin in the direction of the hill that leads down to the river. She raises an eyebrow. “I believe the Beaverkill is loud enough this afternoon to cover all your chatter.”