“You Cannot Return to the Burning Glade” is out at Reckoning

My short story about love, loss, and learning to live in a climate changed world is now free to read on the Reckoning website.

I wrote this story for a Codex flash fiction contest last year, but it really was a matter of several obsessions coming together at once. I’d been reading a lot about the Australian wildfires and the efforts of wildlife rescuers and rehabilitators to save those creatures that could be saved, and of course always thinking about Canada’s own wildfire season (in the west and the north and increasingly closer to places I know and love). Living in a woods halfway up the Niagara escarpment, I do sometimes think about the abundance of dead ash trees (all of them dead now due to the Emerald Ash Borer infestation) and how my house is at least partially made of wood.

Then, one day, I was walking a little used trail near my house and found a dismembered deer leg in a tree. After that so many of the tree branches around me looked like bones and the forest took on a different tone. But it was still the forest that I loved.

I’ve been delighted with the reception this story has gotten so far. Reviewer extraordinaire, Maria Haskins, reviewed it in her Short Fiction Treasures Quarterly Short Fiction Roundup at Strange Horizons. I thought she cut to the core of the story (as well as the other lovely stories she mentions) when she, referring to the Death theme of the roundup, wrote “stories about death are also, usually, very much about life.”

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