Greenberg, Martin H. - My Favorite Fantasy Story / Гринберг, Мартин - Моя любимая фэнтези [2000, fb2, ENG]

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Martin H. Greenberg - My Favorite Fantasy Story

Название: My Favorite Fantasy Story / Моя любимая фэнтези
Год выпуска: 2000
Под редакцией: Greenberg, Martin H. / Гринберг, Мартин
Издательство: DAW Books
ISBN: 978-0-88677-905-4
Формат: fb2
Качество: OCR
Язык: английский

Мартин Гринберг попросил известных писателей-фантастов назвать свои любимые короткие произведения в жанре фэнтези. Так получилась эта антология Smile
    GHOSTS OF WIND AND SHADOW / Духи ветра и тени by Charles de Lint Chosen by Tanya Huff
    MAZIRIAN THE MAGICIAN / Волшебник Мазириан by Jack Vance Chosen by Robert Silverberg
    TROLL BRIDGE / Мост троллей by Terry Pratchett Chosen by Michelle West
    THE TALE OF HAUK by Poul Anderson Chosen by Mickey Zucker Reichert
    IN OUR BLOCK / Безлюдный переулок by R. A. Lafferty Chosen by Neil Gaiman
    THE GNARLY MAN by L. Sprague de Camp Chosen by Terry Pratchett
    OH, WHISTLE, AND I'LL COME TO YOU, MY LAD / «Ты свистни, — тебя не заставлю я ждать...» by M. R. James Chosen by Morgan Llywelyn
    HOMELAND by Barbara Kingsolver Chosen by Charles de Lint
    STEALING GOD by Debra Doyle & James D. Macdonald Chosen by Katherine Kurtz
    SHADOWLANDS by Elisabeth Waters Chosen by Marion Zimmer Bradley
    MOPSA THE FAIRY by Jean Ingelow Chosen by Gene Wolfe
    LIANE THE WAYFARER / Лайан-Странник by Jack Vance Chosen by George R. R. Martin
    THE SPRING by Manly Wade Wellman Chosen by Andre Norton
    THAT HELL-BOUND TRAIN / Поезд в ад by Robert Bloch Chosen by Rick Hautala
    THE DANCER FROM THE DANCE / Танцоры для танца by M. John Harrison Chosen by Stephen R. Donaldson
    MORE SPINNED AGAINST / Арахна by John Wyndham Chosen by Matt Costello
    THE BAGMAN'S STORY / Приключение торгового агента by Charles Dickens Chosen by Margaret Weis
    UNICORN VARIATIONS / Вариант Единорога by Roger Zelazny Chosen by Fred Saberhagen
by Charles de Lint
Chosen by Tanya Huff

There may be great and undreamed of possibilities awaiting mankind; but because of our line of descent there are also queer limitations.

- Clarence Day,
from This Simian World

Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, from two to four, Meran Kelledy gave flute lessons at the Old Firehall on Lee Street which served as Lower Crowsea's community center. A small room in the basement was set aside for her at those times. The rest of the week it served as an office for the editor of The Crowsea Times, the monthly community newspaper.
The room always had a bit of a damp smell about it. The walls were bare except for two old posters: one sponsored a community rummage sale, now long past; the other was an advertisement for a Jilly Coppercorn one-woman show at The Green Man Gallery featuring a reproduction of the firehall that had been taken from the artist's In Lower Crowsea series of street scenes. It, too, was long out of date.
Much of the room was taken up by a sturdy oak desk. A computer sat on its broad surface, always surrounded by a clutter of manuscripts waiting to be put on diskette, spot art, advertisements, sheets of Lettraset, glue sticks, pens, pencils, scratch pads and the like. Its printer was relegated to an apple crate on the floor. A large cork board in easy reach of the desk held a bewildering array of pinned-up slips of paper with almost indecipherable notes and appointments jotted on them. Post-its laureled the frame of the cork board and the sides of the computer like festive yellow decorations. A battered metal filing cabinet held back issues of the newspaper. On top of it was a vase with dried flowers not so much an arrangement, as a forgotten bouquet. One week of the month, the entire desk was covered with the current issue in progress in its various stages of layout.
It was not a room that appeared conducive to music, despite the presence of two small music stands taken from their storage spot behind the filing cabinet and set out in the open space between the desk and door along with a pair of straight-backed wooden chairs, salvaged twice a week from a closet down the hall. But music has its own enchantment and the first few notes of an old tune are all that it requires to transform any site into a place of magic, even if that location is no more than a windowless office cubicle in the Old Firehall's basement.
Meran taught an old style of flute-playing. Her instrument of choice was that enduring cousin of the silver transverse orchestral flute: a simpler wooden instrument, side-blown as well, though it lacked a lip plate to help direct the air-stream; keyless with only six holes. It was popularly referred to as an Irish flute since it was used for the playing of traditional Irish and Scottish dance music and the plaintive slow airs native to those same countries, but it had relatives in most countries of the world as well as in baroque orchestras.
In one form or another, it was one of the first implements created by ancient people to give voice to the mysteries that words cannot encompass, but that they had a need to express; only the drum was older.
With her last student of the day just out the door, Meran began the ritual of cleaning her instrument in preparation to packing it away and going home herself. She separated the flute into its three parts, swabbing dry the inside of each piece with a piece of soft cotton attached to a flute-rod. As she was putting the instrument away in its case, she realized that there was a woman standing in the doorway, a hesitant presence, reluctant to disturb the ritual until Meran was ready to notice her.
"Mrs. Batterberry," Meran said. "I'm sorry. I didn't realize you were there."
The mother of her last student was in her late thirties, a striking, well-dressed woman whose attractiveness was undermined by an obvious lack of self-esteem.
"I hope I'm not intruding?"
"Not at all; I'm just packing up. Please have a seat."
Meran indicated the second chair which Mrs. Batterberry's daughter had so recently vacated. The woman walked gingerly into the room and perched on the edge of the chair, handbag clutched in both hands. She looked for all the world like a bird that was ready at any moment to erupt into flight and be gone.
"How can I help you, Mrs. Batterberry?" Meran asked.
"Please, call me Anna."
"Anna it is."
Meran waited expectantly.
"I it's about Lesli," Mrs. Batterberry finally began.
Meran nodded encouragingly. "She's doing very well. I think she has a real gift."
"Here, perhaps, but well, look at this."
Drawing a handful of folded papers from her handbag, she passed them over to Meran. There were about five sheets of neat, closely-written lines of what appeared to be a school essay. Meran recognized the handwriting as Lesli's. She read the teacher's remarks, written in red ink at the top of the first page "Well written and imaginative, but the next time, please stick to the assigned topic," then quickly scanned through the pages. The last two paragraphs bore rereading:
"The old gods and their magics did not dwindle away into murky memories of brownies and little fairies more at home in a Disney cartoon; rather, they changed. The coming of Christ and Christians actually freed them. They were no longer bound to people's expectations but could now become anything that they could imagine themselves to be.
"They are still here, walking among us. We just don't recognize them anymore."
Meran looked up from the paper. "It's quite evocative."
"The essay was supposed to be one on the ethnic minorities of Newford," Mrs. Batterberry said.
"Then, to a believer in Faerie," Meran said with a smile, "Lesli's essay would seem most apropos."
"I'm sorry," Mrs. Batterberry said, "but I can't find any humor in this situation. This " she indicated the essay, " it just makes me uncomfortable."
"No, I'm the one who's sorry," Meran said. "I didn't mean to make light of your worries, but I'm also afraid that I don't understand them."
Mrs. Batterberry looked more uncomfortable than ever. "It it just seems so obvious. She must be involved with the occult, or drugs. Perhaps both."
"Just because of this essay?" Meran asked. She only just managed to keep the incredulity from her voice.
"Fairies and magic are all she ever talks about or did talk about, I should say. We don't seem to have much luck communicating anymore."
Mrs. Batterberry fell silent then. Meran looked down at the essay, reading more of it as she waited for Lesli's mother to go on. After a few moments, she looked up to find Mrs. Batterberry regarding her hopefully.
Meran cleared her throat. "I'm not exactly sure why it is that you've come to me," she said finally.
"I was hoping you'd talk to her to Lesli. She adores you. I'm sure she'd listen to you."
"And tell her what?"
"That this sort of thinking " Mrs. Batterberry waved a hand in the general direction of the essay that Meran was holding. " is wrong."
"I'm not sure that I can "
Before Meran could complete her sentence with "do that," Mrs. Batterberry reached over and gripped her hand.
"Please," the woman said. "I don't know where else to turn. She's going to be sixteen in a few days. Legally, she can live on her own then, and I'm afraid she's just going to leave home if we can't get this settled. I won't have drugs or or occult things in my house. But I" Her eyes were suddenly swimming with unshed tears. "I don't want to lose her."
She drew back. From her handbag, she fished out a handkerchief which she used to dab at her eyes.
Meran sighed. "All right," she said. "Lesli has another lesson with me on Thursday a make-up one for having missed one last week. I'll talk to her then, but I can't promise you anything."
Mrs. Batterberry looked embarrassed, but relieved. "I'm sure you'll be able to help."
Meran had no such assurances, but Lesli's mother was already on her feet and heading for the door, forestalling any attempt Meran might have tried to muster to back out of the situation. Mrs. Batterberry paused in the doorway and looked back.
"Thank you so much," she said, and then she was gone.
Meran stared sourly at the space Mrs. Batterberry had occupied.
"Well, isn't this just wonderful," she said.
. . .
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