Jodi Ralston is a fantasy fan turned writer, whose tastes run toward the strange and the dark--the stranger and the darker, the better. Two of her previous short stories have been published in the Cave Hollow Press 5M anthologies. One of these stories, “Duty-Bound,” was given an honorable mention in the nineteenth edition of Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. More recently, her short story “Knock” has appeared in Damnation Books' Mother Goose is Dead anthology.
A guardian-spirit-in-training faces his final challenge to full spirithood: guiding a human through the deadly Trials of the Tower to rescue her fiancé’s soul and thus life. This should divest Guard of his humanity. Instead, the human emotion of compassion awakens as he becomes involved in his charge’s struggles, and this endangers his own future at the City of the Dead.