Last Tumbarumba First Lines, #11 and 12: Tim and Heather
The first lines of Tim Pratt's Tumbarumba story, "A Steadfast Tin Soldier":The first thing the dead man spoke to was big rock. Big rock wasn't so big in absolute terms, but it was the biggest rock in that little copse of pines, and understandably proud of its place. "Hello?" the dead man said, in the soundless way of unliving things. "Hello, hello?"
"Yes, hello," big rock said. "How nice to hear from you! Such a pleasure to have new company!"
Tim writes, "I've always been fascinated by stories where inanimate objects have secret lives, from the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams to the Steadfast Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Anderson to Thomas Disch's Brave Little Toaster and the painted stick, can of beans, dessert spoon, and dirty sock from Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins. But one day it occurred to me: dead bodies are inanimate objects, too, aren't they? What if they had secret lives?"
And here are the first lines of Heather Shaw's story, "Little M@tch Girl":A new shipment of Tweak must have hit the Mission over the weekend. Em kept her eye on the woman in front of her who was shaking and staggering across the sidewalk. At a distance, the woman almost looked as if she were listening to some experimental music, her erratic movements accompanied by unheard notes, brilliantly interpreting the difficult tonalities. But as Em got closer, the absence of headphones and the glazed eyes shattered the illusion.
For those who don't know it, Heather and Tim are co-creators of Flytrap, the illustrious "little zine with teeth". Flytrap, in which Tim and Heather published my story "Night Waking", is issuing its last just in time to advertise Tumbarumba: it has been crowded out of the nest by another of their co-creations (and as much as I loved Flytrap, I am forced to approve).
Tim and Heather claim that it is entirely coincidence that their Tumbarumba stories are both Hans-Christian-Andersen-themed.
Next entry: Tumbarumba!