We’re setting up a mock vendor tent inside the house, more of a measured-off practice display, before this weekend’s Pride festival. It’s great to figure things out beforehand but geez, the house is a wreck because of it.
Note the lack of an image here.
Happy Wednesday! My Wednesday shares have become shorter and serialized, and they’re coming from my current WIP (work in progress), Striking Balance. You’ll be able to find all the ones that pertain to Striking Balance under the Categories drop down to your right.
Striking Balance is a Queer Historical Paranormal Fantasy story set within my Appalachian Elementals series. It’s a freestanding tale, so you don’t need to have read the other stories within the series to delve into this one.
This is installment twenty-five, “Tattows” and it picks up directly where the last installment, “Sinew” ended. The main character in Striking Balance is Benjamin (Nub) Schnell, the possessor of secrets twice his size and seeming age. He’s been working for nearly a decade on the same small farm as his friend, Conall Baldwin, who acts as the farm’s manager. This story begins during the American Revolutionary War years, 1779 to be precise, in the Nolichucky river basin of Northeast Tennessee.
The setup: One of Master Gow’s men, who Ben is not impressed by, has asked if his shoes need repair, so Ben’s returned to the cabin where he encounters Conall and Master Gow, the latter of which is doing the strangest thing.
Note: The part in orange comes from last week’s excerpt.
“Ewin? Then get them.” Master Gow waves me toward my loft. I scurry up the ladder, grab my footwear, and turn around to see Master Gow standing over Conall, his hand on his back, one finger drawing into the salve. A strange symbol. ‘Tis one of Master Gow’s marks. I have seen similar ones on our supplies. Such marks are on Master Gow’s arms too. Skin ink or tattows, as Captain Cook calls them in his Tahitian recounts. I have seen them on the Cherokee and Creeks and a few seamen who have ventured this far inland, probably Ewin too now that I think on it.
But I doubt Master Gow has ever sailed aside from his travels here from Scotland. No, he does not seem the type, rather, more frontier like Conall and ever so clever. Master Gow can talk you into almost anything and have you complete the task before you realize.
“Benjamin?” I startled to see Master Gow peering up at me. “Ye best get outside afore Ewin clouts yer ear fer bein’ slow. His temper’s nie as short as mine.”
Tattows? We now call them tattoos, and it was atypical for a European to have tattoos during this era. Yes, yes, many of the earlier tribes, including the Celts had tattoos but during the 18th century, it was highly unusual.
Another clue? Yep. Until next week…