Cadence by Samantha Kymmell-Harvey

Sorry I’ve been out of touch for a bit. We are on vacation in Seattle for conference for my husband where the whole family comes along. We spent the first few days in Washington in the Olympic National Park, so any bit of internet available I used to update my hiking Tumblr. Now that we’re in a city with reliable internet, I’ll be better about updating posts here as well. And now for some short fiction:

archives-issue5Published: September, 2013 in Waylines Magazine

Genre: fantasy

Length: 16 pages

Setting: Budapest, it felt like the early 1900s

Interest: It was included in the 2014 Campbellian Anthology

Summary: The brothers Lazlo and Nik have captured another rusalka (a siren) in the hopes that this time, Lazlo’s surgery on her voice will temporarily tame the urge to dive into the river that the siren usually induces in her listeners. This surgery is successful, but the filter seems to have allowed the rusalka’s voice to impact Lazlo, who is deaf. Laslo trains the rusalka to sing in Nik’s opera so they can lure the Emperor to the opera house, remove the vocal filter, and cause the Emperor to leap to his death. Lazlo falls under the rusalka’s spell and foils the plan.

Final thoughts: The use of music, in particular Lazlo’s violin playing, to tame the rusalka was interesting. I also enjoyed the thought that just the vibrations of the siren’s song would be enough to tempt Lazlo. Overall, though, I was a bit disappointed. The treachery at the end seemed out of character, and I wasn’t sold on the fact that it was because the rusalka poisoned Lazlo.

Title comes from: The cadence of the music the rusalka sang poisoned Lazlo so he became infatuated with her.

 

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