This almost-flash fantasy piece was first published in Galaxy’s Edge magazine, and later appeared in the venue’s Best-Of anthology. Here’s an excerpt:
The ladder stretches up and up before me. Into the sky, past the clouds – past the sun, perhaps. I cannot see the top, but I know it ends in Heaven.
Chill winds sweep the ice covered mountain, and I hunker into my coat of caribou skin. The sleeve of my left arm is too long – Mama meant it to last me another two winters. The other is capped next to the stub of my right elbow.
The sack full of my village’s prayers hangs lightly around my neck. Hundreds of little scrolls fill the burlap, written in hands both illegible and refined.
Once every five years the prayers are carried to Heaven.
Once every five years a citizen leaves and never comes back.
And now it is my turn.
You can read the rest (for only a quarter!) by clicking here.