Snowbooks, edited by the steady hand of Scott Harrison. It features eleven tales that take some ancient myth or legend as their starting point. There's a great roll-call of authors, so I'm proud to be included.
My own contribution, Covenants, is based around the legend of the Ark of the Covenant, although it's a long way from Indiana Jones territory.
'When its body was tilted horizontally, its arms were
bent at the elbows and its weight supported on its hands. It
crouched on its four bent limbs, body suspended between them like a
huge spider, and its head darted up and down and from side to side,
twitching. Like a dog, sniffing for a scent. Then it stopped, went
still, and its shrouded, sightless head swivelled smooth, like a
mechanical part, till that face of blots and stains once more pointed
directly at me. The eye-stains seemed to stare, the mouth-stain to
I kept wanting to look away, seek witnesses or help, but
I didn’t dare take my eyes off it, because I knew it would move the
second I did; besides, there’d be no witnesses, not out on the
beach at this hour. I’d wanted solitude; now I had it. The moment
stretched out; the eyeless, faceless stare didn’t waver. When it
scuttled towards me, dismayingly fast, it was almost a relief....'
You can buy Twisted Histories here.
I picked up a copy of this after seeing it on Stephen Gallagher blog, some excellent tales. Still a few to read.
Your own is very much in the MR James vein. Very atmospheric.
Wayne. aka radio moo
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