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The Lady of Cats

As I wait for the Numinous World anthology, The Ravens of Falkenau and Other Stories, to come out, I thought I'd share the beginning of one of my favorite stories in it.

How the Lady of Cats Came to Nagada is the earliest Numinous World story I've written, set about 8000 BC. It's the first story with my main character, and it's the story of how she met Bastet for the first time.



Once, long ago in the dawn of the world, when all the cities that are were no more than collections of a few houses of mud brick, there was a bride named Meri. She and her husband lived in one room on the edge of the desert, in the smallest house in the village. He was an orphan, and no one lived there but them.

Sometimes Meri found it very lonely, used as she was to the house by the riverbank where she had grown up, with her grandmother and her father and her four tall brothers and their wives and children. She missed the laughing and singing, and the babies playing underfoot on the floor while she made baskets. But her husband, Neshi, had always been alone, and she loved him.

Besides, it was not as though she could not go home. It was less than a morning's walk to her father's house, and she was always welcome. Her nieces would come running when they saw her, shouting about all the things they had been doing and telling her all of their secrets -- where a goose had laid her eggs in the reeds along the river, and where the herons were fishing.

From Meri's house they could see the river, but even at the height of the floods they barely topped the small square fields that belonged to Neshi. If the flood wasn't very high their fields would not be touched at all.

That was what had happened this year. The flood had been bad, so bad that even her father, who owned a piece of bottomland, had shaken his head and muttered prayers. Further up, where they lived, the flood had not come at all. The fields that should have been deep in life-giving water baked in the sun.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
_illumina_
Apr. 28th, 2011 07:43 pm (UTC)
Really looking forward to this one!
ashabardon
Apr. 28th, 2011 08:42 pm (UTC)
Me too!!!
jo_graham
Apr. 29th, 2011 02:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
_illumina_
May. 1st, 2011 08:08 am (UTC)
By the way, I've added the title to Goodreads - hope you're OK with that. If you want to look at / edit the entry, it's here. Hopefully it'll at least be a little publicity!
jo_graham
May. 2nd, 2011 10:34 am (UTC)
Thank you! I appreciate it!
jo_graham
Apr. 29th, 2011 02:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It shouldn't be too much longer!
ashabardon
Apr. 30th, 2011 10:19 am (UTC)
Still 1 May? (huzzah for Beltane :D) I'm going away and am keen to pick this up and take with me!
jo_graham
Apr. 30th, 2011 10:22 am (UTC)
-ish. Right now it's in final proofread. So as soon as the proofreader is finished, it's just a matter of converting the file, which David can do pretty quickly. So probably this coming week sometime for the ebook. The print copy of course will take longer, as that depends on the printer, another step after this.
ashabardon
Apr. 30th, 2011 04:39 pm (UTC)
I'm e-book all the way so yay!
ashabardon
May. 7th, 2011 05:17 pm (UTC)
Any update on the book for us?
jo_graham
May. 11th, 2011 05:07 pm (UTC)
It's still at the proofreader! I'm waiting on the galleys, and then we're good to go.
ashabardon
May. 12th, 2011 08:07 pm (UTC)
Yay, I want to take the e-book on holiday :D Oh I can't wait to read it!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )