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To call forth a spirit, a price must be paid.

When the Ancestors no longer answer the summons of the Mangroves Clan, Yvonne must present a sacrifice, because with all magic, a price must be paid. Can she live with the cost?

Bone Bark and Sinew

Taylor’s Other Works

Apartment 5 C

“The apartment isn’t much, stiff wallpaper frayed along the stairwell where hands have passed over it during every ascent and descent since its erection in the fifties, rips visible under the pale spark of a grimy lamp that hangs in the corridor, always rocking with a steady creak-pop-creak, though I’ve never felt a breeze in this portion of the complex and the fixture is too high to touch, even with a broom. I know, I’ve tried. Maybe the building rests on unsteady ground. Or maybe a breeze…”


Gator Stew

“Joseph does as the voice says. He picks at the double bass, growling against a crooked mic in the grungy bar nestled within the swampy land of Louisiana. The room is sticky. Sticky from spilt drinks carpeting the floor, lust-filled bodies pressed tight, and the ever-present moisture of alcohol and sweat in the air. It coats his skin and he pours the sticky feeling into his song like thick maple syrup, letting it drip over his audience. They suck it in.”


Playing Reality

“Tension builds as the line grows, its tail of bodies winding around the wooden bar. Kaleb eyes the people entering, frenzied in their need to start the day with caffeine. Dreary-eyed, he’s tempted to take a long swig of the macchiato in his hand. He’d stayed up too late playing Diablo III, unable to power down the console every time he completed a mission and began a new one. Now, moving through reality like a zombie, he curses himself for getting immersed . . . “



“He looked at me as a vulture does a carcass, deciphering which parts to eat first and which parts to savor. He’s drunk; drunker than the other two with him. They’ve noticed me, but they aren’t vulgarly observing me like him. My gum forms a bubble as I exhale out, twirling a pen around my fingers. Thumb to pinky, pinky to thumb. The gum explodes in a pop, snapping back to my lips. I peel the sticky pieces off with my tongue. He takes a final swig of beer, and I stand at the diner counter “



“The sea breeze wafts over her, gentle and comforting. She smiles and runs her hand slowly along her arm, imagining it is the salty touch of the air caressing her skin and guiding her down the beach. She doesn’t walk; the sand doesn’t touch her feet. She floats, as smooth and fragile as a mother’s lullaby to her sleeping newborn. A coaxing wind pulls her forward and the rolling waves sing their praise of her aimless direction.”


About Taylor

Taylor Shepeard is a novelist and short story author who specializes in various styles. Her short story publications range from flash fiction to short fiction and have been published by national literary magazines and journals. They fall under the following genres: literary fiction, magical realism, fantasy, and speculative fiction.
Her debut novel, Leather and Sage, is the first installment of the Willow Moss and Kindling series, published under Cursed Dragon Ship Publishing. A supernatural horror, the novel stemmed from a noteworthy binge of “Supernatural”, two sharp glasses of whiskey, and the author’s deeply ingrained southern roots.

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