I’ve been planning for about a month to dedicate my next published work to my niece, Tammy Kalb, who has been suffering from brain cancer for a while now. Her father, my brother Jimmy, called this morning to say she was in a coma and that the doctors say she could pass on at any minute. They’ve been saying that for a couple of days now so we’ve all been bracing ourselves.
Jimmy, who is twenty years older than me, was already married and gone by the time I was born. But in my first fifteen years or so he used to come home at least once a year with his family. Tammy was his firstborn and was only about a year and a half younger than me. We played together a lot and got along very well. We were good friends and steady companions when she visited. After Jimmy and his family moved to England for many years, I didn’t see Tammy very often. I’ll always remember our days wandering across the farm, though, and that she was the first person to ever ride on the back of my old Suzuki motorcycle.
As some of you know, I’ve been working on a collection of noir tales, and I’d intended to dedicate that to Tammy. However, a couple of days ago I found out that an anthology I had submitted a story to hadn’t panned out and so I decided to epub that piece through Razored Zen Press and dedicate it to Tammy. The young girl in the story, Ehma, isn’t that much different from the Tammy I remember hanging out with. Both were tough girls, and Tammy is a very tough woman.
The story is called “Harvest of War,” and is a little over 5,000 words long. I uploaded it to Kindle last night and was surprised to see it had already been posted as of this morning. It’s on Kindle-only for the next 90 days. It’s a heroic fantasy story involving Orcs, the first such tale I’ve ever written. I owe a major debt of thanks to Scott Oden. Without his prompting I never would have written the piece. And many people owe a debt to Tammy Kalb, for all of her caring over the years. She is, and will be, remembered.
NOTE: Harvest of War is HERE if you want to take a look.