Magic, Mystery, a little Whisky, and a Cat

A Cold Spring–Episode 1: A Cherry Tomato

Welcome to Sorchia’s Universe—A-Z Blog Edition.

April is #A-ZChallenge month when everybody who is anybody joins the mad scramble to post  daily content in alphabetical order for the entire month of April (not counting Sundays–except that we count the last Sunday this year because . . .its a leap #A-ZChallenge Year–I guess.)

This year, my offering is a serial story—a Gothic fantasy featuring vengeful witches, disappearing castles, betrayal, and romance (PG only for this one.) Remember to Join Sorchia’s Universe to be get alerts when I post each episode and to be eligible for the giveaway at the end of April and to get my monthly newsletter which contains all the Sorchia’s Universe news that’s fit to print–and some that isn’t.

If you enjoy my #A-ZChallenge story, take a look at the Books link to see what else I write.

Likes and comments are the heart’s blood of this kind of blog hop, so please hit the Like button early and often and leave notes on the posts you visit.

Happy Hopping, A-Zers.

“A Cold Spring” by Sorchia DuBois

Episode 1: A Cherry Tomato

 A cherry tomato.


That’s what I want.


I’ve craved it for the entire cold, dark winter. The subtle pop as the marble-sized, red globe separates from the calyx. The delectable crunch between the teeth and the sweet explosion of tangy, blood-warm juice. A fresh-picked, sun-warmed, red, ripe cherry tomato.


But Spring is late and my spindly plants need more light.  The sky today—as nearly every day of my exile—threatens a cold rain. I mound mud around the delicate stems, patting gently.


Solanum lycopersicum of the variety cerasiforme cultivated by the Aztecs in the fifth century and brought to Europe by Hernán Cortés in 1521—unless Christopher Columbus beat him to it nearly twenty years earlier—valued for soups and sauces, elegant in salads, and a distant relative of the deadly nightshade––belladonna––the witch’s herb. Hairy stem and dog-toothed leaves prickle my palm, their pungent odor a greeting and a warning.


A flutter in my belly reminds me I’ve crouched in the garden for far too long.  I sit back on the soggy ground, lift my shirt, and inspect my distended abdomen. A tiny foot-shaped bulge blossoms beside my flattened, stretched navel. She doesn’t like being cramped and she’s not shy about letting me know.


With a rolling undulation from one side of my belly to the other, she curls into a comfortable ball. I caress the firm mound where she nestles just out of reach, moving my hand over her indistinct outline.


“Not long now,” I whisper to her.


“It will be alright,” I whisper to myself.


A chilly wind fingers the back of my neck. The fine hair on my arms prickles and a buzz in my head drowns out the cawing crows.  Between one breath and the next, a vision rises from the garden mud. Beyond my control, these visions have visited me often in recent months– horrifying replays of devastation and death.


The phantasm twists it’s tendrils in my hair before I can run, unfurls fronds of color and light and fear, holds me in a sticky embrace. All I can do is clutch the ragged tufts of last year’s grass and hold on.

By the way–If you are participating in the A-Z Challenge with offerings of the fiction nature, add your link to the Fiction-Only list below (if it works). Might be a good idea to put the link to your first post or to your general blog site and let it go at that. Use the list to connect to others of like mind and to find more #AtoZChallenge 2017 stories. But be sure to go to the main A-Z Blog for current posts on every topic.

See you Monday with Episode 2: Burning

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