I am what the old folks call a Reader. ‘Psychic’ is the common term, but in the Southern Territories, we’re still called Readers… In this day and age, with the world split open, Heaven and Hell in chaos, and the dead walking among us, everyone claims to be a Reader, and the real ones are in high demand.
Ivy Greene appears in the story “Ezekiel Saw the Wheel” by Julia Bond Ellingboe, published in The New Hero Volume 1.
Listen to Julia Bond Ellingboe reading a quote from “Ezekiel Saw the Wheel”.
Ivy Greene, hero of Julia Bond Ellingboe’s “Ezekiel Saw the Wheel”, is a Reader. That’s the preferred term for psychic in the Southern Territories. In the wake of a folkloric apocalypse, the South has returned to the fashions and habits of days long past—albeit in a world haunted by duppies and Confederate Horsemen. Ivy’s problem? Frank, an old, bad boyfriend has come back to Charleston to see her, trailing chaos in his wake. A very old, very bad boyfriend.
With “Ezekiel Saw the Wheel”, Julia, well-known for her groundbreaking indie games, establishes herself as one of the anthology’s prose discoveries. She beautifully conjures the atmosphere of her rich setting. Her hero, Ivy, is engagingly drawn, with flaws that prove unexpectedly subtle and human.
Julia relates: “When I first read about the theme of the book, the setting immediately came to mind: a storyteller’s Old Southern landscape gone awry, populated by its own rich and colorful folklore, a setting ripe for an unlikely hero to shine, but quietly so. Ivy Greene arrived as the perfect guardian, as she intimately knows the ghosts and monsters we consider part of folktales and superstition, similar to how a storyteller often inserts herself in the story. She even kept me guessing while I wrote her story, just whom or what she was the guardian of. A product of the world, Ivy keeps the peace in her small way, and reaps a tiny, but deeply personal reward for her efforts.”
Julia Bond Ellingboe is a freelance editor, writer, and role-playing game designer. Having missed her chance to become an itinerant storyteller, her work draws often draws from various folkloric traditions, such as African American slave narratives, Japanese kaidan stories, and the Francis J. Child Ballads. Her work includes Steal Away Jordan: Stories from American’s Peculiar Institution, the forth-coming Tales of the Fisherman’s Wife, and the short fiction “The Wolf and Death”. Julia holds a bachelor’s degree in Religion and Biblical Literature from Smith College and lives in Greenfield, Massachusetts. For more information on Julia Bond Ellingboe, visit her website.
All New Hero artwork by Gene Ha.
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