The door to the cabin flung open. Orders were barked at her in Spanish. Swiftly, Fanta grabbed her pistol and squeezed the trigger.

She yelped as a ray of golden light erupted from the muzzle of the pistol. The flames and gleaming lights in the cabin intensified.

The hulking man in the doorway stiffened.

Fanta could see the hallway behind him through the gaping hole in his chest and back.

He collapsed in a smoking heap.

Fanta darted to the open door. Other men bounded up the hall toward her. She pointed the pistol and squeezed the trigger again. This time, balls of pewter shot out of the gun.

The round ripped through the flesh of the man at the front. A moment later, a muffled burp rose from the small hole that the ball punched in his chest.

The man fell to his knees, his bubbling insides running out of every orifice like soup boiling over a pot.

Fanta, appalled, wrinkled her nose. She leaped back into the room and then quickly slammed the door, pressing her back against it.

Who are you?

My name is Fanta. I’m a nurse by profession. I have the ability to travel backward, forward and sideways in time, so many call me “Traveler.” And some say I am the living embodiment of Mami Wata.

Are you?

Would you believe me if I said I was?

Probably not.

Then I won’t say I am…jerk.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

Changed the subject quick, didn’t you? A man should be strong and gentle, yet rugged and sensitive.

A jumbled up mess of contradictions, then?

Who in the heck hired this fool to do my interview? No. A man with…complexities.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

 A woman should be strong willed, intelligent, resourceful and able to overcome her fears. We should be happy with ourselves and not dependent on any man to save us.

But doesn’t a man save you in your story in the Rococoa anthology?

Heck no! I save a man…men, really. How you gonna interview me and you didn’t even read the anthology?

I read a few stories. I got so into Nat Turner’s story that I didn’t get a chance to read yours.

What?! Nat did write a good one, though. I read the manuscript before he submitted it.

Wait…you know Nat Turner?

I told you they call me the Traveler. Had you read the story, you would understand.

Apologies, so what or who is the greatest love of your life?

First and foremost, I love myself. You can’t love others if you don’t love yourself. I am in love with Akil. Before you ask who Akil is, read my story and find out for yourself.

What is your most treasured possession?

The Lotus Bulb. Before you ask…

I know; I know…read your story and find out for myself. Okay.

You got it! Dummy.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

A life with no love.

Who are your favorite writers?

Kai Leakes, of course. The sister is writing my memoirs, so what’s not to love? There are many great writers who contributed stories to the Rococoa anthology. Read it one day and let me know what you think.

Funny. I guess we’ll end the interview here. Do you have any advice for our readers?

Yes…actually read the anthology!

*rolls eyes at interviewer*

And write a review. Reviews make writers smile. Or cry, if the reviewer is a jerk.

Check out Kai Leakes’ story, Traveler’s Song: A Pulse Prelude, in the Rococoa anthology. Available now!

About Balogun

Balogun is the author of the bestselling Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within and screenwriter / producer / director of the films, A Single Link, Rite of Passage: Initiation and Rite of Passage: The Dentist of Westminster. He is one of the leading authorities on Steamfunk – a philosophy or style of writing that combines the African and / or African American culture and approach to life with that of the steampunk philosophy and / or steampunk fiction – and writes about it, the craft of writing, Sword & Soul and Steampunk in general, at https://chroniclesofharriet.com/. He is author of eight novels – the Steamfunk bestseller, MOSES: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Books 1 & 2); the Urban Science Fiction saga, Redeemer; the Sword & Soul epic, Once Upon A Time In Afrika; a Fight Fiction, New Pulp novella, Fist of Afrika; the gritty, Urban Superhero series, A Single Link and Wrath of the Siafu; the two-fisted Dieselfunk tale, The Scythe and the “Choose-Your-Own-Destiny”-style Young Adult novel, The Keys. Balogun is also contributing co-editor of two anthologies: Ki: Khanga: The Anthology and Steamfunk. Finally, Balogun is the Director and Fight Choreographer of the Steamfunk feature film, Rite of Passage, which he wrote based on the short story, Rite of Passage, by author Milton Davis and co-author of the award winning screenplay, Ngolo. You can reach him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Afrikan.Martial.Arts; on Twitter @Baba_Balogun and on Tumblr at www.tumblr.com/blog/blackspeculativefiction.

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