Tim has been working at the farm for a short time, mostly doing odd jobs. He doesn’t spend much time speaking to the other farm hands and he doesn’t have many friends. One of the older and more experienced men named Hough notices Tim, sees he has his eye on the farmer’s daughter. Tim hasn’t realized that anyone noticed and is taken back by the observation. Hough asks Tim if he believes in gods and Tim wonders where this is going. Hough tells him he isn’t the first person to fall for the farmer’s daughter. Then Hough tells Tim about the time when he fell for the farmer’s daughter and hopes Tim heeds his warning.
Hough fell for a girl by the name of Percy, she was the farmer’s daughter when he was Tim’s age. It was forbidden for a farm worker to be involved with the families in any way but the pull of this girl was too strong. Before he knew what happened he had fallen for the girl. But Percy was desperate for a love she couldn’t have. She was destined to only be with a dark god. The one who would spare others for her sacrifice and devotion.
I was quickly lost in the story within a story while reading The Desolated Orchard. The tale of Hough and Percy’s love affair, the life and times of living in the early 20th century and moving from farm to farm looking for work. There is a precise way the love story is told and neatly unfolded. John F.D. Taff takes you through all the emotions in smooth succession. I felt like I was listening to a story instead of reading it. I was engrossed in the storytelling and really enjoyed the characters.
Length: 51 Pages
Publisher: Cutting Block Books
Release date: June 24, 2016
“You think you’re the only person who’s ever fallen in love with the farmer’s daughter? Where do you think the joke came from?”
Tim crept closer, one hand braced against the columns of the porch to steady himself. “You fell in love with the farmer’s daughter?”
Hough motioned to the rocking chair that sat next to his. “Kid, I fell in love with the farmer’s daughter.”
John F.D. Taff, biography
John F.D. Taff is a horror/dark speculative fiction author with more than 25 years experience. He’s a published author with more than 85 short stories and seven novels in print. His writing as a distinct, pulpy Twilight Zone vibe to it. He also writes fantasy, suspense and some science fiction.
He has appeared in magazines such as Cemetery Dance, Eldritch Tales, Morpheus Tales, Deathrealm, Schrodinger’s Mouse, Night Chills, Big Pulp and One Buck Horror, as well as anthologies such as Hot Blood: Seeds of Fear, Hot Blood: Fear the Fever, Shock Rock II, Best New Vampire Tales, Best New Werewolf Tales, Horror Library V, Best of Horror Library, Dark Visions Vol. 1, Ominous Realities, Death’s Realm and Savage Beasts. Over the years, six of his short stories have been awarded honorable mentions in Datlow & Windling’s Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror.
Taff’s first collection, Little Deaths, features 19 short stories collected from 25 years of writing. Some of the tales are reprinted from other sources; some are new to the collection. Little Deaths was called the No. 1 Horror Collection of 2012 by HorrorTalk. His novella collection, The End in All Beginnings, was called one of the best novella collections by Jack Ketchum and was a Stoker Award Finalist.
Upcoming work will appear in I Can Taste the Blood, August 2016.
“For a first novel, THE NAMELESS is outstanding…”
– HORROR WORLD
“ESCAPE FROM ZOMBIE CITY is a really fun read and welcome addition to zombie literature.”
– SHROUD MAGAZINE