Raven tuned out his voice and concentrated fully on the surprisingly young woman sitting with closed eyes on the wilted grass, leaning against the plane tree. She was wearing a coat and trousers of beige leather, and her boots were clearly self made and decorated with colorful beads.
Wait, Raven thought. He only perceived her as a woman in traditional clothing. In truth she was wearing anorak, jeans, and winter boots. She’d lifted her bronze features to the sky as if the sun wasn’t hiding, and hummed. Her long, brown hair was neatly braided and hung to her waist, And the wind carried the familiar scent of reindeer, dogs, warm fires and ice to Raven.
She looked like one of his people. She smelled like one of his people. She hummed a song of his people, and reminded him of an iceberg floating gently on the rolling waves of the Arctic Sea. But what impressed Raven the most were the colorful tendrils of power dancing on the wind. Invisible to all but him, they’d been calling, luring, pulling, dragging him here.
An angakkuq was rare enough these days. One who was so obviously connected to her roots, her ancestors, and traditional beliefs even more so. Modern shamans had taken so many wrong paths that his duties were hardly required any more. He no longer felt compelled to protect his people or to lead their souls to Adlivun so they could be purified for their final journey to the Land of the Moon. Was that changing?
His gaze clung to the soft lips of the humming woman, and his heart beat faster than it had done in centuries. Were his people returning to their religion? Or was she a lonely believer?
Before he gathered the courage to speak to her, she opened large, brown eyes and gazed at him in wide wonder.
“You’ve come! I wasn’t sure if it would work,” she said. “I’m Alasie and we need to talk.”
—from Raven” by Katharina Gerlach
Which god(s) did you write about in your story, and why?
I’ve always been fascinated by the gods of the Native Americans and read
about them extensively. I never expected to write about one of them
though. But one day, a raven insisted I’d have to write its story, and
while writing it, I realized who he was. That’s how my story “Raven” came
What are you working on now, and what’s fun about what you’re writing?
I’m currently working on an Urban Fantasy trilogy of connected stand-alones. I think that the setting is cool (Hamburg, Germany) and also, the
magical system I developed (leylines and runes). I’m having fun.
Is there something from a legend, fairy or folk tale, or myth that you haven’t yet used in your writing, but would like to?
Oh, tons. I’ve written a series of 12 fairy tale retelling novellas (all
books contain the retelling, the original, and a bonus short story) and
barely scratched the surface. There are so many fairy tales I still want
to tackle, but I needed a break from fairy tales for a while. I’ll return
to them when the trilogy mentioned above is done.
Anything you’d like to share with the readers, promotional or otherwise?
Never give up on your dreams, but do evaluate if the dreams you’ve been
pursuing for 20 years are still what you really want to do. Sometimes your
perception changes as time passes.
About Katharina Gerlach
Katharina was born in Germany in the late sixties and grew up in the
middle of a forest in Northern Germany. After romping through the forest
with imagination as her guide, tomboy-me learned to read and disappeared
into magical adventures, past times or eerie fairytale woods.
During her training as a landscape gardener, she wrote her first novel.
She likes to write Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Historical Novels or a
mix of those.
At present, she’s writing at her next project in a small house near
Hanover, Germany, where she lives with her husband, three children, and