As I mentioned in my last post, I am going back and filling in the answers to "where did you get the idea for this story?" that I missed during my hiatus from blog writing. "They That Watch" is the 9th story in the Treasures of Albion series that Michael Spence and I have been collaborating on since 1999. Most of them have been published in various volumes of Sword and Sorceress; this one was in Sword and Sorceress 27.
In the introduction to our Treasures story the previous year we had mentioned that Michael and his wife lived with a "canine Guardian." We looked at that phrase and said, "Hmm, now what can we do with a Guardian who is a canine?" So in this story we introduced Mika, who arrived to watch over Melisande and her unborn daughter, who is going to be born as the Guardian of the Paten, a Treasure whose previous Guardian had the misfortune to be killed in the 7th Treasure story.
Reckoning this up, I realize that it really is time for poor Melisande to have the baby--she's been pregnant since 2010. Maybe we can manage that for this year.