Eric Rosenfield.com

The Ledge

Saturday January 28th 2006, 5:17 pm

Just read the most remarkable short story, The Ledge by Austin Bunn.

Here’s an excerpt:

And then a cry came from the rigging. Diego, swung up in the web of mainsail rope, yelled a shapeless sound and pointed frantically off the side of the ship. At port, two iridescent coils the height of three men, arched across our length. They moved as fast as a lash and seemed pure muscle, strong enough to splinter the Elena to matchwood. Their scales shimmered like cathedral glass, slick and brilliant. I froze with the ledger open on my lap. Before long, other sea serpents, large as the first, foamed the water in a frenzy. The ocean was a tipped basket of eels. The serpents coiled and, at once, lunged beneath the boat.

The men backed away from the gunwale. The waters went still and the air flashed with heat. No man moved. In short time, our wake ran red. Bits of pink meat floated and were snatched down.

Pinzón, our interpreter, clutched my arm.

“Where,” he whispered, “are we?”

A Spanish Galleon sails through 15th century waters until finally it finds the edge of the flat world, a sheer ledge of water. Fantastic.

The story is published by One-Story, which specializes in sending individual pamphlet-sized stories once a month to its subscribers. You can order individual stories at the One-Story back issues page:

One Story - Back Issues

Also, they’re offering a deal — two free issues with a subscription, cancel after the two if you want.


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