"Immortal High Witch short story"
IMMORTALITY originally released as a short story in the OUT
OF THIS WORLD anthology in 2001.
When her beloved husband betrays Puabi to be with his
mistress, it was all she could do to pull herself from her
burning home and crawl to the cliffs near her house where
she falls into the ocean. Badly burned and suffering from
smoke inhalation, she still hopes to survive, but if she
doesn't at least she has the satisfaction of knowing her
husband won't find her body.
An unknown amount of time later, Matthew Fairchild is out
boating and sees the body of a woman drifting in the ocean.
Pulling her into his boat, he quickly discovers that she is
still alive and much to his surprise she the vision of his
Maggie Shayne is an author who never fails to impress me
with her writing ability and this is actually the first of
her witch stories I've read. IMMORTALITY has inspired me to
go and read more of her witch novels.
Puabi is an Immortal High Witch and has given up her soul
by killing numerous "light ones" to maintain her life and
youth. By tossing herself into the ocean, she dies a
thousand deaths, each time restoring herself with a life
she had previously stolen. She is a bitter woman, a Queen
in her own right and while weak in body strong in will. She
desperately needs to be loved, and loved in return. While
she comes across as very hard, I actually thought she also
came across as very noble, so I liked her as a character.
Matthew lost his wife and unborn child because he was too
devoted to his work and very neglectful of his needy wife.
Even though he had married her out of duty, Matthew blaims
himself for her death and cannot come to terms with her
loss. Finding Puabi, he realizes that while she is and was
not his wife, she is the type of woman he could very easily
This story is very touching and the end was a little bit of
a surprise for me. I hadn't read IMMORTALITY in the
anthology, and with the current trend of publishing the
individual short stories, thought I would give this one a
shot. Great story!
Posted March 4, 2006
Reviewed by Cynthia Eckert
Posted December 4, 2006