By the time she's sixteen, the town's Dreamer has long ago given up her own life. She only dreams for others now, every morning delivering up to them the divine guidance that comes to her in the night. In exchange, they treat the Dreamer like their queen. All her bodily needs are provided, but love and relationships are forbidden to her. Now something unexpected is happening. Something entirely new. A foreign man has come to the village, wearing a scarlet vest and a gold finger-ring that is far, far too good for a mere Water-Bearer. His strange amber eyes have found the Dreamer’s and she longs to be free. But maybe freedom isn't the only cost of being the Dreamer: When her dreams begin to question the authority of the self-serving Chief Interpreter, will she survive his fury? Or will he quietly entomb her in the Dreamer's Chamber, clearing her away like so much litter to make room for a hapless new young girl to take her place? Her fate will be kept as silent as the sacred Garden that is her prison. Unless she can find a way to give voice to her own dreams.
Donna Glee Williams is a poet and writer of literary fantasy and science fiction. She was born in Mexico, the daughter of a Kentucky farm-girl and a Texas Aggie large-animal veterinarian. She's been a lot of places; now she makes her home in the mountains of western North Carolina, but the place she lived the longest and still calls home is New Orleans. These days, she earns her daily bread by writing and helping other writers bring their creative visions to light, but in the past she's done the dance as turnabout crew (aka, “maid”) on a schooner, as a librarian, as an environmental activist, as a registered nurse , as a teacher and seminar leader, and for a long stint as a professional student. The craft societies of both The Braided Path and Dreamers owe a lot to the time she's spent hanging out in villages in Mexico, Spain, Italy, Israel, Turkey, India, and Pakistan. As a finalist in the 2015 Roswell Awards for Short Science Fiction, her short story "Saving Seeds" was performed in Hollywood by Jasika Nicole. Her graceful speculative fiction has been recognized by Honorable Mentions from both the Writers of the Future competition and Gardner Dozois's Best of the Year collection.