The Mutuation of Fortune

August 23, 2010

posted by Caroline Picard

We’re putting out another book in the near-ish future, Erica Adam’s The Mutation of Fortune. I just got a rough sketch of what the look of the cover is going to be. Originally the book was going to be called, On The Book Of The Mutation of Fortune, but then we scratched that and made it simply, The Mutation...That explains the discrepancy in titles. At any rate, I think it looks amazing. I thought I’d include the cover sketch and an excerpt here. And then maybe post something a little later about the coversations and images we’ve been talking over and working from….

Brother and Sister

by Erica Adams

from her forthcoming book, The Mutation of Fortune
A Hunter tracks the roebuck in the forest, and follows the roebuck to a cottage. He watches the roebuck open the door. I am preparing tea for the roebuck and me. When the door opens and the hunter demands explanation, gun raised, I tell him this:

When our father was away, gathering furs from all the traps he had laid, he met a woman in a nearby town and took her to be his new wife. Before her, my father left my brother and me alone when he would go away, and my brother and I were good at keeping the house clean, and never caused any trouble. When the woman arrived, everything changed. First, my brother and I were not allowed to share a bed.

Immoral! she cried, upon finding us curled neatly together.

Then, she demanded our room, so she could use it as a closet, for all her new clothes. My brother and I slept on the floor downstairs, a yardstick wedged between us.

When she found us taking a bath together (I was soaping brother’s backside), she cried, Your love will send you to hell! and demanded we leave the house together. Our father was gone, then, selling his furs to villages far away.
Brother and I walked for days, eating berries and drinking from streams, lamenting the loss of our true mother, who died in one of father’s great silver traps. We prayed to her for our safety, and soon found an empty cottage in the woods, which became our home.

And then something strange happened, something strange and new: I realized I had lust for my brother, and he for me.

Lust grew in us like the garden we cultivated outside our cottage, our tomatoes fat and heavy on the vine.

I was not afraid to love my brother, but feared the result of our union.

And so my brother came up with a plan.
He would find one of father’s traps, and take the first animal he found there, and treat the skin, as father had taught him. He would wear the skin as a gown, and we would love, and be safe from the uncertainties of nature.
And so my brother came home late one night in the garment of a roebuck. And so we lived this way, and at night the roebuck would come into my room, and love me. And soon there was no brother, but only a roebuck.

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