Saturday, April 20, 2013

First Pages: Pigs Might Fly by C.M. Simpson

All her life Lily has prepared herself for taking over the family farm. The property talks to her, the animals and plants thrive under her care, and even the old tractor bends to her will. Her brothers have other careers planned, and help Lily position herself to take over when they are gone, but her father has other ideas. He wants to pass the farm on to one of his sons. He says pigs might fly before a girl would be any good at running a farm. How is Lily going to convince him that farming is the only thing she has ever wanted to do, and that she is the best of his offspring to take over when he is gone? And what do her dreams and hopes have to do with flying pigs?

Pigs Might Fly is a story of magic realism, where the world we see is only nearly as it seems to be.

Pigs Might Fly is currently available as a stand-alone title at Smashwords, and will soon be available via Kobo, Kindle, iTunes and Nook, but will one day be incorporated into An Anthology of Sorcery and Magic.

First Page: Pigs Might Fly

Lily wept as her father scolded her, fresh, hot tears that made tracks in the dirt her hands had smeared across her cheeks.
"No daughter of mine!" her father bellowed. "No daughter of mine..."
Lily listened as he launched into another roaring spiel of dismay and disapproval. Her feet, clad only in thin, leather boots and not the protective rubber of galoshes, sensed the stone floor of the kitchen. Without her approval her toes began to tap, a coarse discordant beat that melded with her father's torrent of words. She had been to the pigsty again.
She had seen the sow through her farrowing and counted the piglets into the sty. She had ensured the mother slept in clean straw, safely separated from her young by a metal gate to prevent her from crushing them, and she had gone to the fields afterwards.
The noisome waste of the pig's birthing she had burnt in the incinerator, leaving the ashes to cool before burying them in the compost, and washing their remnants from her arms and face with a hose. She had sought the clean, fresh smell of earth to drive it from her mind.
There was no plowing to be done. Instead, Lily had traversed the fields, plucked the weeds from amongst the cabbages and ripped competitive growth from beneath the tomatoes. It was nothing her father would not have done had he not been in town seeing to his wife and their newest daughter.
Lily had cleared the weeds from the cabbages and the tomatoes and wiped the sweat from her face with hands stained by dirt, then she had set about gathering her garnered piles together and carrying them to the furnace. Her father would not compost the weeds for fear the seeds survived to contaminate his crops, but he gladly used their ashes.
"…and to see you heaving wood into the furnace like a charcoaler's son, well..."
Her father continued. Lily felt her foot tapping harder and harder against the stone. He had almost finished his tirade, and she had managed to say nothing against him.
He wanted to send her away, to have her become a nurse, a secretary, some rich man's wife. He did not want her to become a farmer; he had sons for that.
It did not matter to him that farming was all she was good at, or that none of his other three children wanted his place on the land. Lily listened as her father finished shouting, then hurried upstairs to wash as he instructed.
Lily heard him stomp out to the sty to check on the sow. She did not tell him the beast had already farrowed. Let him discover that for himself and think one of the boys had seen to it.


If you would like to read more, Pigs Might Fly is currently available as a stand-alone title at Smashwords, and will soon be available via Kobo, Kindle, iTunes and Nook.

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