My story “Three Pieces of Gold, Three Pieces of Silver” is now available to supporters on Patreon and subscribers at Curious Fictions.
- Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/posts/26695135
- Curious Fictions: https://curiousfictions.com/stories/2060-maria-haskins-three-pieces-of-gold-three-pieces-of-silver
It’s only available to supporters and subscribers, so you have to kick in a buck or two to read it, and I’d be grateful for any and all support. This story originally appeared in the print anthology “Heroines”, but this is the first time it’s been available in digital format.
- The print anthology is available from Neo Perennial Press: https://www.theneoperennialpress.com/books/heroines-an-anthology-of-short-fiction-and-poetry
Here is the beginning of the story:
Three Pieces of Gold, Three Pieces of Silver
The day Alma hears that the War has devoured her husband, she knows it’s past time to leave the village. In all her lifetimes, she has never stayed this long in one place, and she hopes it’s not too late to make it safely to the coast and find passage across the sea. Even as she listens to the man who delivers the message of her husband’s death, she can feel the ground beneath her feet shift and tremble as the War closes in on her home.
That night, she gathers up her three daughters and tells them to pack a small bag each, no more than they can carry comfortably on their backs while walking. Her own bag is already packed, and she waits outside while her daughters flit around the house getting ready, all three of them anxious and red-eyed, putting on their shawls and cloaks and walking-boots.
Alma has no money, but she brings three pieces of gold: a ring worn on the third finger of her left hand, and a hoop-earring through each earlobe. The silver she owns she is already wearing – two wide bracelets, engraved with runes, one around each wrist; and a plain, heart-shaped pendant on a chain around her neck.
For nigh on twenty years, Alma has never taken off her silver, wearing it as a reminder of the promise she made: to stay; to be a wife, a mother. Now, the metal feels strangely tight around her wrists, heavy around her neck, her skin itching at its touch.