Update: Love Spells, Rainbows and Rosie

Cover of Love Spells, Rainbows and Rosie: A Marchverse Short Story by K. A. Cook. Cover shows a wooden door set into a wooden wall with a paper sign on the front reading Mara Hill, Witch. Stones, bones and feathers tied to string dangle over the top of the door, along with a creeping vine, and two potted plants sit on either side of a wooden doorstep--white daisies in a bag and orange roses in a brown pot. A straw broom rests propped against one side of the door and a piece of torn paper reading Absolutely No Love Spells sits on the step. Text is written in a white, handdrawn, fantasy-style type.Lovers’ Day is good trading for a witch who deals in enchantments, ribbons and dyed flowers. For Mara Hill, it’s long been a holiday of tedious assumptions and painful conversations—once best handled by casting petty curses on annoying customers. This year, when a girl asks about love spells, it may be time to instead channel a little Aunt Rosie.

Contains: A sapphic, allosexual, lithromantic trans witch enduring the most amatonormative holiday extant–in a small town still in want of open conversations about aromanticism.

Setting: A year and a half after The Sorcerous Compendium of Postmortem Query and a year before Love is the Reckoning. I don’t spend much time going over the events of the night Mara spoke to Aunt Rosie about aromanticism, so reading Compendium first is recommended.

Links: Patreon | WordPress

PDF, EPUB and MOBI editions are available for download from Patreon.

Length: 3, 429 words / 10 PDF pages.

Mara and Esher Reading Order: The Sorcerous Compendium of Postmortem Query | Love Spells, Rainbows and Rosie | Love is the Reckoning | Absence of Language

I’ve posted digital editions of this side story to my Patreon (where I’m enjoying the ability to attach files directly to my posts). The web edition has also been updated with the new version, for folks who prefer reading online.

I’ve added 400 words to make this story more readable as a midpoint between Compendium and Reckoning for anyone who hasn’t or doesn’t want to read Reckoning. The other major change is more reflection on the parallels and differences between Mara’s wanting a love spell to change herself and transition magic for her brother. These things aren’t the same, particularly within a social context where Esher and Mara’s shapes of gender are accepted and their shapes aromanticism provoke question. Yet they both concern queerness, identity, feeling and one’s place in the world, so much so that it felt necessary to acknowledge this contrast.

A change I’m making to Compendium is more examination on the role of love spells in the Marchverse. People know they exist, and non-magic-workers tend to have a poor understanding of the restrictions surrounding them (as shown by Abelia and Mara’s need for a sign on the door). For magic workers, especially those from a school or country sworn to the Accords, there’s a much greater awareness of problems like consent and all the ways magic can be used to void it–one of the reasons Mara struggled to find information about love spells in the first place. I feel like Love Spells, Rainbows and Rosie doesn’t fit with the current version of Compendium as much as it should, but it will!