Love and World Eaters by Nick Wisseman tells the story of a museum worker peon, Aliah. Her peon status was confirmed after a small accident in which Aliah had dropped a small artifact while examining it. Admittedly, she had been surprised when the artifact began to move. Then there was the small sliver detached from the artifact during the fall that had entered Aliah’s bloodstream and swam away from the entry point. Supervisor Theresa had confirmed Aliah’s peon status when, after failing to find the sliver, she had told Aliah to wait a few days and see what developed. The Conservation Department Safety Record would continue unblemished.
There was most definitely a development for Aliah. First, any artifact she touched with her bare hand would reveal the history of the artifact to Aliah. She saw stories of conflicts, wars, romances, and great historical events. Each time she saw these vignettes, the artifact sliver would appear close to the surface of her hand. Later, she could even see the history of everyday items such as pens and coffee cups. But all these events and powers were not a one-way street that benefitted Aliah without consequences.
The sliver had broken away from a larger artifact, a bead. The bead was part of a finger and the finger had worn a valuable ring. The sliver wanted to go home. Aliah would be used to make the reunion happen. How this was to come about along with several interesting historical “sneak peeks” are what makes this tale interesting.
Of course, Aliah has her own human story with the conflicts that brings. Wisseman will not neglect her, but the splinter is the story. For a short story, this tale has an amazing amount of historical data as well as historical assumptions. I think it unusual that a short story should show so much evidence of research. I gave this four Amazon stars and think it might motivate readers to examine the history of Alexander the Great with different eyes.