by Stephanie Burgis
Some women talk to angels during their winters alone in the farmhouse. Others dance with devils, their wildest nightmares come true. When their husbands come back into the house for supper, they find their sweet, submissive brides speaking in tongues, mouthing obscenities in deep masculine voices. It takes months with Dr. Grace before these women come back to themselves, months of treatment with a starvation diet, months of bible readings and flagellation.
My friend Ellen was one of those women. We’d heard all the stories when we first arrived in the blazing heat of July, travelling together from Boston. During those welcoming parties, when all the farming families met together and the children played around our feet, older women took us aside.
The winters are long, they whispered to us; watch out. Don’t let your imagination run away from you. Don’t let your husband see, if it does.
They whispered the name of Dr. Grace.
About the Author
Stephanie Burgis grew up in East Lansing, Michigan, but now lives in Wales with her husband and two sons, surrounded by mountains, castles and coffee shops.
She has published over thirty short stories for adults and teens in various magazines and anthologies. Her trilogy of MG Regency fantasy novels was published in the US as the Kat, Incorrigible trilogy and in the UK as The Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson. The first book in the trilogy won the Waverton Good Read Award for Best Début Children’s Novel by a British writer, and the full trilogy was recently re-released in the US as A Most Improper Boxed Set. Her first historical fantasy novel for adults, Masks and Shadows, will be published by Pyr Books in 2016, and her next MG fantasy series will be published by Bloomsbury Books, beginning with The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart in 2017.
About the Narrator
Mur Lafferty is an American podcaster and writer based in Durham, North Carolina. She is the host and creator of the podcast I Should Be Writing. She was, until July 2007, the host and co-editor of Pseudopod. She was the editor and host of Escape Pod from 2010, when she took over from Steve Eley, until 2012, when she stepped down and was replaced by Norm Sherman in order to focus on her writing. In 2015, she edited Mothership Zeta for Escape Artists, Inc. She has returned to co-edit Escape Pod with S.B. Divya.
Mur is the 2013 winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She was a finalist for the Hugo for Best Fancast for Ditch Diggers with Matt Wallace.