The Pigeon Catchers



November is upon us and the cold of winter is beginning to bite. Reading is perhaps one of the best pass times when it’s too chilly to venture outside. So to keep you occupied, I’m delighted to be able to bring you a new story of mine, The Pigeon Catchers, which has today been published by Far Horizons in their quarterly ezine.

The Pigeon Catchers follows the tale of sister and brother Mal and Bryn. When their mother is struck by the Sickness, the pair must do everything they can to get the medicine she needs to survive.

Here’s the opening few paragraphs:

Malia placed a hand on her mother’s forehead. Like a smithy’s furnace a temperature raged.

“How is she?” her older brother Bryn asked, entering the bedroom.

“Worse than last night.” Malia said. Tears threatened to break loose. “We need the healer’s medicine.”

Bryn sighed. “How much do we have?”

“Five coppers.”

“How much does it cost, twenty?” Malia nodded. Frowning, Bryn looked down, silent a
while. He began nodding to himself. “I’ve got an idea, but it’s risky.”

“For Ma.” She’d do anything at this point.

“For Ma,” he echoed.

The streets of Low Town bustled like a hive as the sun rose above the looming apartment blocks. Horses dragged farmhand-laden wagons out to the fields surrounding the city. Fishermen in their leather boots and oiled coats trudged downhill to the docks, bracing themselves for another day on the Great River. Another stream of miserable footsteps headed toward the factories and chimneys of the Industrial Quarter, where already black smoke stained the azure sky.

“Where are we going?” Malia asked as they weaved between legs.

“You’ll see.”


Click here to read the rest!

About the author

Richie Billing writes fantasy fiction, historical fiction and stories of a darker nature. His short fiction has been published by, amongst others, Kzine, TANSTAAFL Press, Bewildering Stories, Liquid Imagination, The Magazine of History & Fiction, Aether and Ichor, and Far Horizons. His debut novel, Pariah's Lament, will be published by Fiction Vortex in Summer 2020. He co-hosts the podcast The Fantasy Writers’ Toolshed, a venture inspired by the requests of readers of his critically-acclaimed book, A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook. Most nights you can find him up into the wee hours scribbling away or watching the NBA. Find out more at

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