From the fun of the fair to the depths of hell, experience sixteen more curses in this sequel to the bestselling Cursed: An Anthology. A blend of traditional and reimagined curses from fairy-tales to Snow White, from some of the best names in fantasy.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR
Take a trip to a terrifying carnival and uncover the secrets within, solve a mysterious puzzle box and await your reward, join a travelling circus and witness the strangest ventriloquist act you’ve ever seen.
In this follow-up to the bestselling Cursed: An Anthology, you’ll unearth curses old and new. From a very different take on Snow White, to a new interpretation of The Red Shoes, the best in fantasy spin straw into gold, and invite you into the labyrinth.
Just don’t forget to leave your trail of breadcrumbs…
Featuring stories from:
M. R. Carey
A. C. Wise
Adam L. G. Nevill
A. K. Benedict
L. L. McKinney
Excerpt from "The Viral Voyage of Bird Man" by Katherine Arden
I’ve told my story a hundred thousand times. More. I counted once, with marks in the dust. But in a hundred thousand tellings, my story has never once made sense. Stories need logic, don’t they? Cause and effect. Well, mine doesn’t have it.
I used to think that if I said it over enough times, I’d finally understand, and then I could stop. But the more I told, the less I understood. And, I told the whole world once, or almost. It wasn’t enough. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
That’s unusual. Tell the same story a hundred thousand times, and you get it down perfectly. Everything in order. The turns of phrase. The embellishments, the bon mots. The little elisions and exaggerations. It becomes a face you hand to the world, clean, apt, polished.
Not anymore. But I’m getting ahead of myself again.
I killed a bird. Just one bird. Why? Christ, who knows? No, I wasn't hungry. It wouldn’t have been good eating anyway. It was an albatross, all wings and bones, so purely white that the foam on the sea looked yellow when the creature dipped to the waves. We’d come south, on the Swallow, out of Cork, a hard voyage, below the fortieth parallel, and we were in fog near the mountains of ice. The albatross was playing all round our masts, as though to mock the anxious eyes we kept turning from wind to tide. It was beautiful and it was free and I was bored and I shot it.
I just wanted to see what would happen. How those wings would crumple, how it would sound, when it thumped on the deck. And indeed, the great air-rowing wings fell like trailing laundry and it hit the deck with a most satisfying thud. My shipmates cheered. Said I’d done us all a favor. That the albatross was an unlucky beast, had brought the fogs and chancy winds, and the loom of the ice under our lee.
So we tacked the albatross by its wings to the mast, and then the southerlies blew up and ran us north again, north and north, out of the region of ice mountains and cold fog. We were well pleased. We’d a hold fat with blubber and whale-oil, a goodly share for every man. So we made a fine run, north to where the sun lay like a mirror on the unmoving sea. All was well, all was as it should be and it never occurred to me to care for an instant that I’d shot that damned bird.
Then our wind failed. Day after day the ship turned round, pointing now east, now south; with the sea like a hot mirror below us, the ship wallowing in her own filth. Surely, we thought, a wind would come, or a squall of rain, to tide us over, the last piece of luck on our lucky voyage.
But none did. My shipmates, those louts, started to blame me. Said that it was my fault, that I’d killed the albatross and angered some vengeful spirit of the sea. I didn’t believe it. You’d think the vengeful spirit of the sea would be a little brisker, wouldn’t you? Not hang fire all the way to the doldrums. The albatross’ wings were shriveled on the mast; what took their vengeful spirit so long? But they wouldn’t hear my arguments. Just glared at me, and glared and glared.
And then we had no water.