Fiction: the Mythscapes of Point Reyes

Forthcoming in New California Writing 2013 ! To read the whole story, do go get yourself a copy of this beautiful anthology, published this month by Heyday. I'm honored to be a part!

Edith has followed hares with brightly lit tails, like streetlamps, out into scrub, into warrens that somehow shift to accommodate her bulk. The warrens are tallow lit and lead through blackberry bushes deep into the earth, into sets of animal bone, human bone. A smell of rot. Old women with heron feet and gopher bones in their hair sit in these caverns, singing in high, high voices while heating animal fat in iron pots. Long cotton wicks are dipped into the fat, then hung on a series of bone racks, then dipped again, again, until the racks are heavy with candles that smell of oil and meat. The room is lit with a thousand candles, along the ceiling, like hard constellations. Edith is led by many black-tailed hares, sometimes coyotes that croon and howl tales of death, heroism, mischief. Unlike the hares, they never wait and lead Edith back out again, so she is left with the singing old women and their tallow and stink of meat. 

More of this world to be found here, at the end of the Douglas fir posting.


  1. Sylvia, this is lovely writing.

    1. Thanks so much Terri, and for you kind words over at my otter post. I'm so thrilled you enjoyed both. This was just enormous fun to write-- I'm planning to work it into a whole tale soon, though I'm not sure where its path will lead yet! I always love that process of following your nose as a story takes you off into fox dens and who knows where else!