Long Days In Paradise
by Amos T. Fairchild
Jorden gritted his teeth as he surveyed the somewhat odd world he found himself within.
Things had settled down somewhat for the Tasmanian youth. He now accepted that he had somehow stumbled into a land of both beauty and nightmare, and was now forced to live within its bounds until he could find someone to help him return home. It was a world of warped pseudo-physics, a mash of realities and fantasies littered with peoples who were slightly not what they should have been.
Yet Jorden Miles had grown used to his aestri friend Taf: her claw-like nails, her angular teeth, and the eyes that belonged to a beast of the night. She was mostly human – pseudo-human in the ways that mattered – and she was a very dear friend. Even the huge landsdraw and the dirge weren't really that odd. Rats were rats and fish were fish, and sea-dragons were only God knew what. There were horses and cattle and sheep and pigs, and a few crystals and rocks made the world go round.
Aside from the earthquakes and this stormy Time of Darkness thing, all was peachy.
What was most important to Jorden Miles was that this was a world of men that was run by the female classes of the spiritual kaedith and the financial sarisan, and he was a friend of a lowest class aestri, a race that struggled simply to survive, seen as little more than vagrants if they were thought of at all.
There was only one way out, and that was to face the witch-god Hura herself, and she lived somewhere on the other side of Nowhere if she even existed at all. Getting there meant crossing the darkened and creature-filled lands of an unknown world, lands that no man dared walk when the light departed.
Jorden knew his chances of getting home, indeed even surviving at all, were very slim indeed.