Pseudopod 269: The Burning Servant

by Steven Saus

Click his name to visit his website. This story was first published as a part of Mike Stackpole’s Chain Story project in August 2010. Steven’s work appears in print in the anthologies Mages & Magic, Timeshares and Hungry For Your Love, and in several magazines both online and off, including On Spec, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, SFWA Bulletin, and On Spec. He has a story in the anthology Westward Weird due out from DAW Books in Spring 2012, and the third book of The Crimson Pact is due out at the end of March 2012. He also provides publishing services and publishes books as Alliteration Ink. The Drabblecast recently did an audio version of his story “Broken”.

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“‘Mrs. Freeman,’ Dr. Montegro said, ‘I believe there was a tale in the offering. While your observations of old age are … fascinating… they are not the coin of the realm. So to speak.’ The doctor looked down through his glasses at her. ‘We trade stories here, madam, and your grandson was going to tell one.’

The smile creased her face even further. ‘Why, yes, yes, he was.’ Jonathan tried to guide his grandmother to an armchair, but she waved him off, settling onto a barstool. ‘You fine educated men know of General Sherman, don’t you? The Union commander who burned his way from Atlanta to Savannah?’ Several men nodded; a few, who had betrayed Southern accents earlier in the evening, frowned. Montegro’s hand touched the silver chestpiece of his stethoscope.

Sarah looked up at the paneled ceiling for a moment, then back at the listening men. ‘What you don’t know is that Sherman didn’t do it all himself.'”