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Black Gate Online Fiction: “The Trade” by Mark Rigney

Sunday, December 9th, 2012 | Posted by John ONeill

mark-rigney-smallGemen the Antiques Dealer undertakes a dangerous quest for a mysterious stone, in the opening chapter of a thrilling new adventure fantasy series:

“Whatever happens,” Gemen said, “stay close.”

“What is this place?” Velori asked. “What are we dealing with –– and what are we looking for?” A mist loomed ahead, but not chill and cool, nor even white; it was warm, vaguely yellow, and stank with all the putrid force of recently rotted flesh.

“We are about to violate the final resting place of an ancient monarch, Cleon Cryptlord. The elders of his time would not suffer him to be buried anywhere near the city. Inside is a chamber, half-flooded with water, with a great keystone. I need that keystone, my friends. It is for that that we have come.”

Ahead lay a clearing devoid of plant life, centered on a great earthen mound the size of a tumbledown barn. Part way up the naked slope was a gap, not so much a cave as a mouth, and from this hole poured the fog through which they walked. It emerged in gasps and billows as if blown from the lungs of something both vast and immeasurably sick.

“No,” said Velori. “I’m not going in there.”

“We are going, and we are going now. Corvaen and his mad companion agree on one point: whatever lies beneath is not especially alert. If we are quick about our business, we may never encounter what they did.”

Mark Rigney is the author of the plays Acts of God and Bears, winner of the 2012 Panowski Playwriting Competition, as well as the non-fiction book Deaf Side Story: Deaf Sharks, Hearing Jets and a Classic American Musical. His short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in Black Static, The Best of the Bellevue Literary Review, Realms of Fantasy, Talebones, Not One Of Us, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet and many more. His contemporary fantasy novel, A Most Unruly Gnome, won the 2009 First Coast Novel Contest. Two collections of his stories (all previously published by various mags and ‘zines) are available through Amazon, Flights of Fantasy, and Reality Checks.

You can see the complete catalog of Black Gate Online Fiction, including stories by C.S.E. Cooney, Donald S. Crankshaw, Aaron Bradford Starr, Sean McLachlan, Harry Connolly, and Jason E. Thummel, here.

“The Trade” is a complete 7,000-word short story of weird fantasy offered at no cost.

Read the complete story here.

11 Comments »

  1. […] Read Mark Rigney’s complete short story “The Trade” here. […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » Adventure on Film: Could Holy Grail be the Funniest Film Ever? - December 15, 2012 9:00 pm

  2. […] most recent publication with Black Gate was the short story “The Trade,” which Tangent Online called ““Marvelous… Can’t wait for the next […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » Adventure on Film: The Duellists - January 9, 2013 12:57 am

  3. […] “The Trade” by Mark Rigney (Three Stars) “The Daughter’s Dowry” by Aaron Bradford Starr (One Star) “Godmother Lizard” by C. S. E. Cooney (Three Stars) […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » The Tangent Online 2012 Recommended Reading List - January 14, 2013 12:30 am

  4. […] “The Trade,” by Mark Rigney […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » The Top 12 Black Gate Fiction Posts in December - January 31, 2013 2:49 pm

  5. […] Mark Rigney’s latest story for Black Gate was “The Trade,” which Tangent Online called a “marvelous tale.” You can see what all the fuss is about here. […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » Genre 2013: The John Pierce Experiment - February 1, 2013 11:44 am

  6. […] Find” is the sequel to “The Trade,” Part I of The Tales of Gemen the Antiques Dealer, which Tangent Online called a […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » “Reminiscent of the Old Sword & Sorcery Classics”: Tangent Online on “The Find” by Mark Rigney - February 21, 2013 12:01 am

  7. […] “The Trade,” by Mark Rigney […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » The Top 12 Black Gate Fiction Posts in February - April 1, 2013 11:12 am

  8. […] charts this month. “The Find” is actually Part II of the series, which began with “The Trade,” which Tangent Online called a “Marvelous tale. Can’t wait for the next […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » The Top 20 Black Gate Fiction Posts in January - February 24, 2014 1:57 am

  9. […] Find” is actually Part II of the series. It began with “The Trade,” which Tangent Online called a “Marvelous tale.” Read all three tales in their entirety […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » The Top 20 Black Gate Fiction Posts in February - March 25, 2014 8:40 am

  10. […] to my attention through the submissions queue at Black Gate, where he wowed me with his three-part Tales of Gemen, an old-school sword and sorcery story with a very modern spin — and some delightful twists. […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » Win a Copy of Mark Rigney’s Check-Out Time - September 24, 2014 9:14 am

  11. […] Rigney’s Tales of Gemen, which Tangent called “Reminiscent of the old sword & sorcery classics,” have […]

    Pingback by Black Gate » Blog Archive » Last Chance to Win a Copy of Mark Rigney’s Check-Out Time - September 30, 2014 3:30 pm


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