Forestborn Published in Gamut

My story “Forestborn” has been published in the second issue of Gamut. If you have a subscription, I’d love for you to read it.

“I am forestborn,” the girl with a wild bird’s nest for hair said to me. “I can’t live in houses.”

The fiction line-up in this issue:

FICTION // Stephen Graham Jones, E. Catherine Tobler, Steve Rasnic Tem, Mercedes M. Yardley, Rebecca Jones-Howe, Sylvia Heike, and Kate O’Connor

Where did this strange story come from?

This was one of those rare stories that just flowed out from me. I can’t remember what story I had been working on at the time, but I was struggling, frustrated, trying too hard. This was about a year ago. Then I had a fleeting inspiration, as well as the room to myself, and thought I’d just sit down to free-write with no expectations. What did I have to lose?

The story was a mix of things that had been brewing inside me for a while, I think. My love for the forest, birds, some artwork I’d seen–landscapes and flowers painted inside animal and bird silhouettes.

In the evenings, I often watched for a few minutes how a hare came to eat in our garden. It always struck me how bunny-like it was. Yawning, stretching, perking its ears. Of course I’d already seen the primal instincts in my rabbits over the years: escape reaction at the silliest of things, back feet thumping warning signs, fluffy tails vanishing under the bed. Same creature in two different worlds, separated by a window glass. One with the forest in their heart.

The story itself came to be about a strange forestborn girl, flowing from that lucky first line.

After the first draft there was of course a lot of editing involved, an ending to figure out, but the story at its heart was already there.

I hope you enjoy it.

– Sylvia

p.s. You can purchase a single issue here.

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