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Banners in the Mist:

~ trekking through time ~

June 20, 2019     - - -     Volume 6 Number 4


From the Oregon coast to other Pacific shores
to the fringes of seas around the world...


Now available on Amazon:

ONE SEA, MANY SHORES: Tales on the Tides

cover of ONE SEA, MANY SHORES

A dozen new tales plus reprints and novel excerpts
available as Kindle ebook ($1)
and print-on-demand paperback ($6)


~ Sneak Peaks ~

into Holt's newest collection of short stories:





illustration by H.W. Elliot, 1883, from NOAA photo library


Kiss the Sky

   A tale from the Oregon coast
      Shada bailed water from the dugout's belly. She heard each hurried thrust of her father's paddle in the stern. By pale moonlight she saw the scowls of scorn on the faces of her two older brothers, seated amidships, also plying paddles but with less fervor.
      Her mother sat in the bow -- a black silhouette against the low moon -- with baby brother in her lap, young sister huddled at her knee.


      "Thunderbird came to me," her father had said when he shook them all awake. "Thunderbird said take everyone, flee far out to sea."
      "In the deeps of night?" grumbled one brother.
      "In the deeps of winter?" complained the other.
      "What about the Devourer?" their mother had asked, her voice tight as she scurried about the hut, gathering food, waterskins, blankets.
      Little sister piped up, "The Devourer dwells in the sea."
      "Because of the Devourer," their father had said, picking up the little girl. "Thunderbird brings an end to his terror, but to find safety we must seek danger. We must speed toward the mouth of Devourer-Whale."
      So they had run into the night, down the short stretch from village to shore. None of their neighbors would listen. All had scoffed and gone back to bed.
      Now Shada bailed and bailed. Soon the quarter moon settled to the horizon, signaling middle of night.
      Stars winked overhead. Something spread vast wings across the heavens.
      Shada craned to look upward as she bailed. Three paddles held still. Breaths held still. The moon held still on the world's watery edge.
      The shadow plunged, growing larger and larger as if a winged mountain fell from the sky. It knifed into distant billows.
      The sea came to life. It rose to kiss the sky, and the dugout rose with it. Everyone shrieked and clung to the canoe edges...

[ONE SEA, MANY SHORES contains the rest of the story,
based on a disaster in the year AD 1700]




sketch by Frederick William Hurst, 1875, whose tale this is


Wind and Windlass

   A tale from the ocean near Hawaii
      "I hear you praying!" Frederick yelled over the wind's roar. "You said you don't believe in God."
      "That was in calm weather," the sailor shouted. "In a hurricane like this, everyone's a believer!"
      The deck tilted to port then bucked like a rearing horse. The two of them staggered but regained their stance, feet spread to brace themselves as they heaved all their might into cranking the bilge pump's windlass.
      The sailor jerked in alarm at one sound among all the tumult. He craned his neck to look back along the clipper's deck. At the other pump, seamen gathered, frantically checking out the windlass. The gale swallowed their curses.
      "What's wrong?" Frederick asked.
      His crank-mate grimaced. "We just lost the other pump."
      Frederick gulped. "Will one alone handle it?"
      The sailor spit to the side, swore, and shook his head. "Not at the rate the old lady is leaking."
      The bosun's whistle announced shift change, and Frederick gladly gave over his crank to another seaman. He groped along the lifeline leading to the hatch down to steerage, but his mate pounded him on the back. "Come into the galley for a swig."


      "I don't drink rum."
      "Then a mug of water. I've a question for you."
      Frederick gratefully ducked inside. The galley was cramped, but not so cramped as steerage, and not crowded. No cook bustling around, preparing tasteless meals.
      "You been to the gold fields?" the sailor asked.
      Frederick nodded. "My brother and I both." He unwrapped his hands, checked for new blisters, swayed to the dance of the fickle ship.
      "Had any luck?"
      Frederick grinned. "We found our share of dust. And a nugget or two..."

[ONE SEA, MANY SHORES contains the rest of this true story]



Two illustrations from the book

   Line art by Joyce Holt


Mamba Munti, from the coast of East Africa



crossing the Skagerrak between Denmark and Sweden




author's photo of Seal Rocks on the Oregon coast, 2012, used for the cover



But wait, there's more...

Do you share Holt's fascination with cultures and events
around the world?

Check out her "current events" articles
reported as if on location in years past,
and published in earlier issues of Banners in the Mist.

Fiction afficianados can find more of Holt's short stories
in earlier issues, as well. (Links in the tables below.)




"current events" and novel settings by year and continent


TAPESTRY 1-5: the books in Holt's series TAPESTRY OF CUMBRIA

Year  N. America S. America Europe

Africa Asia Australia
  196     TAPESTRY 2

     
  241 Ohio:
pyramids
Brazil:
geoglyphs
Ukraine:
unicorns

Tunisia:
Carthage
Kamchatka:
volcano
N.Territory:
raining fish
  560     TAPESTRY 1

     
  561     TAPESTRY 3

     
  605 Mexico:
Mayans
Argentina:
pampas
Volga River:
rafting

Libya:
foggara
China:
bridge
W.Victoria:
eel farms
  867     TROLL &
TRYLLERI


     
  888     TAPESTRY 4

     
1000 Columbia R.:
First Salmon
Chile:
tsunami
Switzerland:
solstice, sleds

Egypt:
flood
Kazakhstan:
Silk Road
Cook Islands:
tsunami
1105     TAPESTRY 5

     
1376 Mexico:
Aztecs
Bolivia:
lake people
Denmark:
King Olaf

Tanzania:
Kilwa Kisiwani
Uzbekistan:
Tamerlane
Tasmania:
yolla birds
1451 Lake Ontario:
confederacy
Colombia:
emeralds
Austria:
spectacles

Nigeria:
asylum
Japan:
zen art
W.Australia:
ocher mine
1513 Puerto Rico:
Ponce de Leon
Peru:
Machu Picchu
Italy:
madonarri

Timbuktu:
library
Indonesia:
cloves
Milingimbi:
broadcloth
1536 Honduras:
Spaniards
Chile:
Spaniards
Netherlands:
Delft fire

Zimbabwe:
copper
Cambodia:
war elephants
Queensland:
warrama
1660 Mexico:
bishop's riot
French Guiana:
sugarcane
France:
king's bride

South Africa:
Khoikhoi
Sri Lanka:
Buddha's tooth
New Zealand:
Moriori


flash fiction featured in past issues

Europe

   N. America   Africa   Australia
Netherlands:
Disaster in Delft

  Yucatan:
Cargo and Koh-lum-boh
  Morocco:
Bristling Horizon
  Top End:
Maps, Masts, & Monsoon
Ukraine:
Absens

  Mexico:
Bittersweet
  Zimbabwe:
Bangle
  Queensland:
Dangerous Errand
Denmark:
Beowulf and the Dragon

  Shenandoah Valley:
Gold in Them Thar Hills
  folktale:
Of Rhinos and Rams
  Victoria:
Fickle Lady Luck
Wales:
Yesterday, a Dragon

           
Wales:
Freckles and Bronze

           
England:
Outwait

           
England:
Milia XVI

           
England:
Malinger

           

buy Holt's books on Amazon.com

visit author's home page

read weekly flash fiction at Wildwood Wandering blog

Email:   jholt.banners(at)gmail(dot)com

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