Whispers of Old Winds by George Seaton
Cover Artist Anne Cain
Available for Purchase at
My short story, “Whispers of Old Winds,” appeared in the Dreamspinner Press 2015 Advent Calendar. I expanded the short story to novel length, providing a more thorough view of the main characters, Sam Daly and his husband Michael Bellomo, and the secrets of Pine County, Colorado—a place where magic exists with quiet impunity.
About Whispers of Old Winds
Sheriff Sam Daly, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, and his husband, Michael Bellomo, have made a life for themselves in sparsely populated Pine County, in the Colorado mountains. Sam oversees the small sheriff’s department, and Michael sells his paintings and tourist items out of his shop, Needful Things. From the beginning, Sam had known Michael possessed gifts: the ability to see and hear things Sam cannot.
When a report of a body in a massive snow-filled depression up a mountainside sends Sam and his deputy, Digger, to investigate, Sam struggles to reconcile the existence of skinwalkers in Pine County with the world he’s familiar with. Michael, though, deals with this reality through his art, and through the mysticism he’s been gifted. Sam’s effort to discover what is happening cause him to examine his life with Michael from the time they first met. The inevitable conclusion might be that he’ll never understand the mysteries of the mountains, but for the sake of Michael and their love, he’ll have to embrace them.
“I’m Monsignor Tumino,” he said, holding his hand out.
The Monsignor. I grabbed his hand, noticed the dark rings around his eyes and his stare that appeared, if not angry, surely intense. “Sam Daly,” I said.
“You’re Michael’s friend,” he said, and it wasn’t a question.
“We’re more than friends, Monsignor.”
He continued to stare, and I was feeling a little uncomfortable.
“Michael is special,” he said.
“Yes, he is.”
“He was given a divine gift at birth. Something that sets him apart from most of humanity.”
“So I’ve been told.”
“The dark veil. A curse if it’s not used properly.”
I looked at this little man, his white hair, the dandruff on his shoulders, his black crow-like eyes, his odor that I’d just identified as something between mothballs and death, and I smiled again.
“Michael is my husband. I love him more than I’ve ever loved anything or anybody in my entire life. If he is cursed, then he’s cursed with everything that’s bright and beautiful in this world, the dark veil, as you say, notwithstanding. Tell you what. You and Michael’s mother need to loosen up, maybe step out of the church every once in a while and smell the fucking roses, the trees, take a look at the sky, and see the beauty of the world rather than the dark mysteries that apparently you’re both so fascinated with. Whaddaya think? That sound like a plan?”
He smiled. And if I’d had Michael’s talent, I would have captured that smile in my mind and painted a picture of it—Beelzebub himself.
“What matter the world, when eternity is the goal? You are a sinner, Mister Daly. And you are ill-equipped to deal with Michael’s curse.”
I can’t say I really disagreed with him on that last part, though I hadn’t exactly characterized Michael’s weirdness as a curse. It was just who Michael was, and I was trying to deal with that. Long ago, though, I realized it’s practically impossible to talk reason or logic to anyone who believes the sum total of reason and logic is contained within the pages of a single book written by men at a time when the world was still flat.
About George Seaton
George Seaton’s short stories, novellas, and novels capture contemporary life mostly set in the American west—Colorado and Wyoming in particular. He and his husband, David, along with their Alaskan malamute, Kuma, live in the Colorado foothills just southwest of Denver.