Delilah S. Dawson’s Horror Novella Bloom Unique Excerpt

Picture: Titan Books

io9 has shared the work of Delilah S. Dawson earlier than (take a look at an excerpt from her 2021 dystopian thriller The Violence), and we’ve received one other unsettling unique for you immediately: a primary take a look at Bloom, the story of two women whose highly effective attraction evolves into one thing that’s supernaturally poisonous.

First, right here’s a synopsis. Beware the farmers’ market meet-cute!

Rosemary meets Ash on the farmers’ market. Ash—exact, fairly, and virtually excellent—sells bars of cleaning soap in delicate pastel colours, sprinkle-spackled cupcakes stacked on scalloped stands, beeswax candles, jelly jars of honey, and shiny inexperienced crops.

Ro has by no means felt this fashion about one other lady; with Ash, she needs to be her and have her in equal measure. However as her obsession with Ash consumes her, she might discover she’s not the one doing the devouring…

Advised in lush, delectable prose, this can be a deliciously darkish story of ardour taking an unsavory flip…

Right here’s the total cowl, designed by Julia Lloyd and making its debut right here on io9, adopted by an excerpt from Bloom.

Image for article titled Cupcakes and Passion Open a Gateway to Horror in Delilah S. Dawson's Bloom

Picture: Titan Books

She feels eyes on her, a tender and curious prickle like moth ft, and he or she turns to search out probably the most lovely lady on the earth looking at her. Whereas making an attempt to not flatten a baby, Ro has in some way managed to stumble right into a stall she hasn’t seen earlier than, and the lady behind the counter appears like a goddamn elf, just like the apotheosis of cottagecore, like if a Studio Ghibli heroine might be a pale white lady with lengthy hair as tawny and true as corn silk. On the desk earlier than her are bars of cleaning soap in delicate pastel colours, sprinkle-spackled cupcakes stacked on scalloped stands, butter-gold beeswax candles, jelly jars of honey with thick blocks of comb and gingham tops tied with ribbons. The edges of her stand characteristic picket cabinets crowded with shiny inexperienced crops in grower pots—crops with spherical leaves like lily pads and pointy leaves like puppet tongues and extensive, veiny leaves like elephant ears. Ro doesn’t know their names, however she’s seen them on Instagram.

“See something you want?” the lady says with a understanding smile.

For a second, Ro can solely stare at her, taking within the particulars of her ice-blue eyes and her constellation of freckles and her excellent, tiny tooth and the creamy pores and skin revealed by the low-cut neck of her gown, which is lavender and lengthy and ethereal and appears do-it-yourself, precisely just like the form of factor that needs to be worn proper earlier than somebody is kidnapped to Faerie.

Ro doesn’t know what to say. Phrases are her world, and but she is speechless. This occurs generally. She understands books so significantly better than she understands individuals. That’s why she writes non-fiction, and that’s why she has bother making associates and has largely dated very nerdy guys who share her esoteric literary pursuits.

Earlier than this second, she was pretty sure she was straight, however now she is thrown into utter chaos.

“What taste are the cupcakes?” she asks, deflecting.

The lady—as a result of sure, in fact she is a lady, and but there’s something uniquely contemporary and harmless about her—factors with a protracted, sleek finger. “Lavender, lemon, strawberry, vanilla. All of the chocolate are gone, I’m afraid.”

“Do you make them your self?” As a result of sure, sure, the extra questions she asks, the extra the lady has to reply and the longer Ro can stand right here being mesmerized. She briefly wonders if consuming the lady’s meals is something like Persephone slipping rose-red seeds between her lips within the Underworld.

“I do. It’s my grandmother’s recipe—effectively, the bottom recipe, not less than. I wish to experiment with frosting flavors.” She factors to a dainty porcelain tray loaded with samples of cake, every bite-sized cylinder tufted with frosting. “Strive one, should you like. The cupcakes are 4 {dollars} every or 4 for fifteen.”

Ro plucks one of many lavender samples and pops it in her mouth, painfully conscious that the lady is watching her with sharp eyes. Taste explodes on her palate—she’s by no means tasted frosting this silky earlier than. She rubs it between her tongue and the roof of her mouth, luxuriating in it. Their eyes meet with an electrical shock, and he or she feels seen, she feels recognized. She feels magic.

“Good God,” she murmurs as she chews. “That’s probably the most flawlessly unctuous factor I’ve ever tasted.”

The lady’s eyes brighten, and he or she smiles like a cat—she has a crooked canine.

Ro needs to lick it.

And he or she doesn’t know what to do with that data.

She swallows and wipes the crumbs from her lips, aggravated as a result of she is aware of the hunter-green polish on her nails is chipped and that the lady has undoubtedly observed. Ro thinks of herself as a comfy mess; this lady is exact, polished, and virtually excellent.

“Unctuous,” the lady says as if tasting the phrase for the primary time.

Excerpt from Delilah S. Dawson’s Bloom reprinted by permission of Titan Books.

Bloom by Delilah S. Dawson is out October 3; you may pre-order a duplicate here.

Need extra io9 information? Take a look at when to anticipate the most recent Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s subsequent for the DC Universe on film and TV, and every little thing you should find out about the way forward for Doctor Who.

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