“It was unlike any bone country Dante and his companions had ever seen. For one thing, the graves were not in the earth but above it, a field of metal boxes perched on their ends, like standing stones, or like silent prisons, holding captive a thousand decaying monuments to the violence that is on the earth. Some might have held actual bodies, others only a symbolic remainder: an autobiography, a famous coat, a bloodstained axe, a boot. In each metal surface had been sculpted a screaming face. Beneath each face, a single name:
“Some Dante recognized, some he didn’t. He and the others—the dwarf with the eyes like hard gems, the nymph whose hair today was the deep red of algae—stopped in silence at the border of this field of the dead. Then Dante walked silently on, alone at first, his feet carrying him quietly down the long rows. He stared, aghast, at the faces, and mouthed the names he read as he passed.”
from Dante’s Heart by Stant Litore.
Illustration by Roberto Calas.
You can find the book here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MQC0AR8
And you can support more work like it here: http://www.patreon.com/stantlitore
“Dante’s Heart is like Clive Barker, Octavio Paz, and Dante Alighieri are playing D&D together. Lush stuff and more imaginative than most fantasy fare.” – Marc McDermott
“Dante’s Heart isn’t as much a story as it is an epic poem. Visually and emotionally evocative, it seems to be this gifted author’s heartfelt rumination on pain, loss and the human propensity toward violence. To read it is to step through an oil painting into another world. But beware: Once there, you may have trouble finding your way back out. Not that you’ll necessarily want to, because Dante’s Heart is both terrifyingly and achingly beautiful.” – Michael Whiteman Jones