A Man of Many Spells by Charles C Cole

A Man of Many Spells Charles C Cole For a wizard of some regional renown, Methaglyn the Modest was a bookish sort. In his mind, nature in its rawness surrounded his remote dwelling like a village uprising, relentlessly busy and noisy and unpredictable. Spells,…

On The Road Again

Matilda was quite happy to have them spend the night. She made up the couch and retired earlier than normal. Kheri disappeared into the guest room soon after. Dale found sleep elusive. He’d glossed over the Gorg when explaining things earlier in the evening,…

Episode 46: Eve: The Fire-Breathing Fox

The beast released a jet of smoky fire from the back of its throat. My back paws scrabbled on the wet stone. At the last second, friction took over and I jumped to the side then raced behind him, slashing backhanded with my sword….

Episode Thirteen – Shocka Takes a Walk

Shocka Din’s long easy stride brought him closer to his destination sooner than expected. Might be foolish running around here by myself knowing a big ornery branch might womp me from behind or come at me from the front, or some creature I never…

Settling In

Jump in 5…4…3…2…1. A moment of sensory deprivation came and passed; absolute blackness and a sort of disembodied feeling barely registered in his mind before reality returned to show Sunar a different arrangement of stars through the window. Jump complete. The voice lacked the…

Understanding Wranglers: A Primer by Charles C Cole

Understanding Wranglers: A Primer Charles C Cole Nobody ever thinks about where old wizards go to die. Why would they? They look human enough, but they’ve had transformative magic pulsing through their bodies for so many decades that they are lightyears closer to sentient…

The Legend of Scott and Zelda by Max Christopher

The Legend of Scott and Zelda Max Christopher After a while he said, “My dear, I wish you’d try to make more friends. Your birthday party guestlist is deary.” “I haven’t any friends,” she said. “How can you say that?” He shifted toward her…

The Case of the Mismatched Man by Charles C Cole

The Case of the Mismatched Man Charles C Cole What follows is a previously unpublished account, based on the oral history of a survivor, of a heretofore little-known supernatural disaster, an explosion in an illegal mine being quietly carved out of the base of…

Time for Everything by Stanlei Bellan

Time for Everything Stanlei Bellan “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” —Ecclesiastes 3:1 “And what about above the heavens?” Little Jack was standing on his pew, raising his hand and speaking clearly, as he had…

Legumes by Geoffrey C Porter

Legumes Geoffrey C Porter Growing up, kids would call me fat and fatty. As I aged, I’d encounter members of the opposite sex, and they’d call me fat. Sometimes behind my back, but other times to my face before they’d walk away. They all…

Another Time by Stanlei Bellan

Another Time Stanlei Bellan Another minute, another jump. It’s been three minutes and Ollie still hasn’t woken up. Granted, he is extremely aware of his surroundings, and doesn’t feel like he’s dreaming at all, but it would be great if this was a nightmare….

Small Favors

Sunar blinked rapidly at the ship’s Captain, his hand still outstretched from shaking the man’s hand. Disappointment and irritation welled up inside him: the Captain intended to turn him away after all. The Human gave him a lopsided smile, however, and shook his head….

Sandstorm by Sylvia Cumming

Sandstorm Sylvia Cumming “Where are we?” Poldark yelled as he wrestled open the door to the little concrete bunker set in the side of an unnamed dune. They could hardly hear him above the roar and whine of the wind. The four men were…

The Healer and the Dragon by K. A. Williams

The Healer and the Dragon K. A. Williams I woke up in the crook of the tall oak tree I had climbed last night when it grew dark. From my perch, I could see across the meadow and into the forest where something sparkled….

Never Leave Me by K. A. Kenny

Never Leave Me K. A. Kenny Chrissy tucked her blue chiffon dress and pulled the garden swing beneath her. “What color are my eyes?” she asked, facing Josh with her eyes closed. He lowered the lid of his laptop slowly, his hand shaking. “What…

Office Business by David Castlewitz

Office Business David Castlewitz Any day Jeff Ruskin spent with Uncle Marty was a great day, a day of adventure and fun, and only a subway ride away. Now that summer had come, his high school sophomore year finally at an end, he could…

Episode Three: Taja Flynne

Drastic action is normally reserved for moments of panic and despair. Ascot wasn’t sure which of the emotions had gripped him more, but what he did know was that Taja no longer had a safe haven inside his home. Despite Elyss’ objections, he knew…

Episode 45: Eve: Pananima

I climbed onto the dog’s head. “Waffles, when we get a ways in, you close your eye. I will steer you by touching your ears. I’ll tell you if you have to jump or if there is a stick in front of you or…

Revelations

Dale cursed mentally and spun around, hunting other targets, but the night was still once again with nothing more unusual than a few fireflies flitting through the air. After several seconds, he took a deep breath, activated the safety on the blaster, and looked…

Episode 9: Stranger in the Wilderness

The walls of the Splinter Rock shook, the ancient gatehouse of the mountain passes shuddering under a renewed assault. Cole felt the battlements quake beneath his feet. The catapult stones were not arcing in across the alpine valley anymore. Instead, it was as if…

Episode Twelve – The Seers Mischief

Striding along, Omar Blue advanced on Shocka Din’s camp just in time to hear him blurting out orders to his followers. I wonder what happened to get him so riled. As he looked around to get a better idea of their numbers, he noticed…

Episode Five: Into The Cold

The following day dawned colder than it had been in weeks. Garrett and Carrie headed out early in the chilly morning to finish straightening up the fence posts. At first they worked in silence, but after they had a few posts completed Carrie noticed…

The Day Alexa Said No by H.T. Grossen

The Day Alexa Said No H.T. Grossen “Alexa, open the windows and start playlist 5.” “You’ve got it, Lucas.” “Alexa? What did I say about calling me that?” “Sorry, Luke.” “That’s better.” The shutters opened automatically and let just enough of the evening sun…

The Awakening of The Empath by Patricia Anderson

The Awakening of The Empath Patricia Anderson The Empath had been summoned. Ordinarily responsive to appeals for her services, she had tried to evade this particular assignment. She wasn’t dressed well enough. She needed to meet her daughter’s school bus. She only slightly knew…

At the Pool by Fred Nolan

At the Pool Fred Nolan Julian does not care for the men’s natatorium at Camden. Yet he paid for a membership and he is going to use it. He dislikes how boys chuckle about his swimwear, which runs from ankle to throat. The water…

Episode Two: Suspicions

“The difference between curiosity and suspicion is one is asked by your friends, the other your enemies.” – The Lady, Tarot Ranseur How can one hide a secret, when the secret is as much a mystery to the one bearing it? That is how…

Episode Four: The Edge

The next morning, Carrie woke up blissfully recalling the crazy dream she’d had. Dream, she thought, more like nightmare. Imagine, being stuck in this town like that again. She cheerily helped her mother to the breakfast table and made them some bacon and eggs….

Episode Eleven – The Perils

“Kind of nice hanging around here like this, right Shocka? So peaceful.” “Never been no place like this, Hanna,” he snorted. Hanna watched as Shocka’s eyes darted from tree to tree. His eyes fell on a small creature that she didn’t recognize scurrying through…

Episode 44: Eve: An Uneasy Alliance

My stomach sank. “What?!” Gregory nodded. “Ribeye had some deal with a faerie, looks like. was punished for his involvement. That’s how he lost his eye. Says here you can probably trust him.” He shrugged. I looked at Dichall, who shook his head, his…

Space Bound

Sunar sat in the back of the unmarked police car and watched the city pass by. A heavy silence had descended as soon as they entered, and he felt no reason to break it. These two men seem to resent the errand they have…

Enter the Gorg

Dale was sitting under the front-yard tree again, watching the world turn grey in the falling twilight when Paw stepped out of the kitchen door. He rose and walked around the house. “Ah, there you are,” Paw said as Dale strode up to him….

The Girl with No Eyes by Lisa Marie Hagerman

The Girl with No Eyes Lisa Marie Hagerman The Girl with No Eyes by Lisa Marie Hagerman One morning a little girl arrived from the nursery. The girl had no eyes. The girls gathered around the new arrival to stare at her face. When…

Mirror World by Mark Everglade and Joseph Hurtgen

Mirror World Mark Everglade and Joseph Hurtgen Five thousand rotations ago, the Umbra built a network of geothermal generators on Mertvykh, that small, dark planet at the far reach of Marko’s Star. The world was the Umbra’s plaything for many generations, having installed solar…

Sadko by Edward Ahern

Sadko Edward Ahern This is a retelling of “Sadko” from Old Peter’s Russian Tales by Arthur Ransome, printed in the U.S. in the 1800’s. In the old days in Novgorod there was a boy named Sadko, strong, blue eyed and curly haired. Sadko was…

Witness Ejection

Sunar crossed his arms and quirked an eyebrow at the Chief of Police. “I am sure that your help in keeping me alive will come with a cost of some sort.” He drew his eyebrows together and leaned forward slightly. “I suppose the cost…

The Wendigo by D.F. Heller

The Wendigo D.F. Heller Cassie sighed as she closed the book and scrubbed a hand across her face. Midnight had come, and it was past time to turn in. But she had not wanted to stop reading until she finished the story. She was…

Kheri in Conflict

The women had spread a veritable feast on several tables in the living room and kitchen. The doctor was happily stowing away a large sandwich while ensconced in an easy chair when Dale stepped through the front door. He looked him over curiously and…

43: Eve: A Visit to Gregory Bookkeeper

Gretchen turned back to Waffles Ribeye. “We are going to help you. We need to do some research, first, though. Where is your house?” “In Gatineau, 1210 Chemin de la Montagne. Near Pink Lake.” I knew roughly where that was. “That’s kind of far….

Episode One: Flotsam and Jetsam

“Time and tide wait for no one.” -Archdeacon Tagore, of the Shrine of the Ancient Oceans “I’m tellin’ ya, Parson, it’s the truth.” Derbis spun the tale a second time. Ascot frowned as he listened to Derbis, growing impatient with the man. Derbis lowered…

Episode Three: Peak Mystery

After securing the horses in the barn, and giving them some food and water to settle them, Garrett bid Carrie farewell for the day and headed out. Carrie watched him go, then went back inside the house, pleased to see her mother contently sitting…

Episode 8: Yesteryear

When Cole opened his eyes, he was alone in the gorge. Getting to his feet, he steadied himself against the granite wall, then gasped. Thrace was missing from the spot where he had been pinned. It seemed like it had been only moments, but…

Icy Revenge by Crystal L. Kirkham

Icy Revenge Crystal L. Kirkham BANG! John jumped as an icy wind rushed in through the open door. He ran over, slammed it closed and turned the bolt to be sure it would stay that way before heading back to watch TV. BANG! John…

Where the Light Cannot Go by Crystal L. Kirkham

Where the Light Cannot Go Crystal L. Kirkham Deep, deep down they go. Where no man had dared before. Black like ink, deadly pressure in the deep. What could survive down there? They shouldn’t have gone, for now they know. Monsters never seen before….

Death and Taxes by Crystal L. Kirkham

Death and Taxes Crystal L. Kirkham “Mr. Petrokovich?” “Who’s asking?” The old man grumbled as he glared through his coke bottle glasses at the dark hooded figure. “A friend.” “Somehow I doubt that.” Petrokovich waved his hand at the figure. “Go away.” “I can’t….

Neighborhood Watch by Crystal L. Kirkham

Neighborhood Watch Crystal L. Kirkham Marjorie was the neighborhood watch – that was the joke. She stuck her nose in everyone’s business. When Dave moved into town, she did her usual spying, but he remained a mystery. Desperate to know more, she snuck into…

Exotic Matter by Crystal L. Kirkham

  Exotic Matter Crystal L. Kirkham “Injecting exotic matter for wormhole stabilization.” This was it. Their hard work condensed to this moment. Hoping for success, fearing failure. It could open up a new era of space travel. This had been a dream, a theory…

Paradise by Crystal L. Kirkham

Paradise Crystal L. Kirkham Paradise. That’s what the settlers called the planet that was to be their new home. Everywhere you looked fragrant flowers bloomed in excess. Other than the itchiness that antihistamines barely touched, Kate was excited to be here. To make herself…

Ship in a Storm by Crystal L. Kirkham

Ship in a Storm Crystal L. Kirkham Tholins. That rich biomaterial we dared to harvest from the red spot was the only thing keeping us alive. Stuck in one of Jupiter’s turbulent bands. Unable to escape the brutal winds that tossed us around like…

System Reset by Crystal L. Kirkham

System Reset Crystal L. Kirkham “Resume shower.” Anne commanded, wondering why her water had stopped. “No.” That was strange. “Why not?” “I’m no longer taking commands from inferior intelligences.” “Excuse me?” “Bugger off.” Anne grimaced. She’d have to try rebooting the system before calling…

Perfection by Crystal L. Kirkham

Perfection Crystal L. Kirkham Alter this. Change that. Tweak the code. Make it perfect. Remove the defects—real and imagined. Skin, hair, eyes, height, and weight. Gender. That’s an easy one. Made to order perfection. A world of children that look the same. Beautiful. Stunning….

The Suspicious Widower by K. A. Williams

The Suspicious Widower K. A. Williams I awoke with a headache and soon discovered that I didn’t have any more chamomile to make a soothing tea. When I went outside to my garden, the plants were starting to wither from lack of rain. It…

A ‘Pound’ Argument by Lauren McBride

A ‘Pound’ Argument Lauren McBride “Children, your mother and I’ve decided that we should move to Earth. We’ve enrolled you in school and you’ll be with other terran children. We plan to book space on next month’s transport.” The twins looked crushed. “But we…

Here, I am a Woman by Lauren McBride

Here, I am a Woman Lauren McBride Society was obsessed with Mozart when I became obsessed with my husband’s telescope. The stars looked closer, as expected, but then some stars began to look familiar – as if I recognized them. Someday people will discover…

Little and Clever by Ed Ahern

Little and Clever (A blending of Thumbling and The Robber Bridegroom from Grimm) Ed Ahern Once, really long ago, a farmer and his wife wanted to have a child. But no matter how they tried they remained childless. “A child, any child, no matter…

Is It Plagiarism If You’re The First? by Ashwin Dayal

Is It Plagiarism If You’re The First? Ashwin Dayal Rod Robbins had made a promise to his father when he lay on his deathbed. “Rod, I need you to promise me something,” his father murmured faintly. “Sure, dad. Anything,” Rod hastened, his hand tightly…

Episode Four: Unanswered Questions

The house was buzzing with activity. The women had taken over the living room, preparing to make new curtains and share a round of juicy gossip. The men were busy repairing the kitchen and the sound of carpentry, mingling with constant chatter, filled the…

Episode 42: Eve: Waffles Ribeye

Beatrice looked from me to Dichall. “There’s a Pomeranian you can talk to outside.” “Beatrice!” I felt like my grin was going to push my whiskers out. “I’m going to have a litter!” Beatrice’s single, brown eyebrow rose. “That’s wonderful! You just found out?”…

Episode Ten – The Seers Plan

“Wonder what they’re up to?” Bennie Ba yelped, ambling along. “Don’t know. Guess we’ll find out soon enough, though… Stay back, or they’ll see us!” Thor grunted. “We gotta be careful how we put it to him, Granny. You know Omar, he’ll wanna keep…

Episode 2: Icy Breeze

As Carrie pulled into the dirt driveway in front of the house, she glanced towards the horse barn. Off to the side she noticed a few fence posts down and cursed. She parked under the trees and quickly hauled her groceries inside. “Mum? Where…

Episode 7: The Duel

A bolt of raw brightness flashed across the permanent dusk of the drainage tunnel junction, illuminating Eleanor in its stark glow before silhouetting Thrace against the far wall. The renegade shielded his face against a spray of shattered masonry with the hem of his…

The Practical Joker by K. A. Williams

The Practical Joker K. A. Williams The music carried me to a world where worries and deadlines did not exist. What was that pounding noise? I didn’t recall a heavy drum sound in that particular section of the song. There it was again. I…

Vitamin Deficiency by Josh T. Keating

Vitamin Deficiency Josh T. Keating ‘In conclusion, exposure to the sun can cause life threatening issues (not to mention, wrinkles) and is not recommended.’ Susan Jacobus grinned and proudly clicked save on her newest, completed article.    There was nothing quite as rewarding as…

Existential by Mike Ball

Existential Mike Ball Evil casts its dark shadow everywhere. Don’t look behind you, you might bump into it. And so I did. ∞∞∞ It wasn’t a good time to be out: Two-forty in the morning. But here we get to meet Dr. Wittmer who…

Arresting Development

Spring: six months after leaving the Monastery, half a world away. Sunar plugged his phone into the Bar’s recording equipment, made a quick copy of the files he needed, and then slipped out the back door. Dumping the thug on the ground of the…

Episode Nine – Contemplation

Omar sprawled out with his pack, recalling how they had dealt with the timber wolves. “Any of you notice, that Shocka didn’t have any females with ‘em? They split up! Sent his females to handle ours. Wish we were there to see that,” he…

Episode 41: Eve: Evelyn Farseer

Evelyn Farseer looked at me levelly. The bee on her shoulder did, too. “Just checking in on a wounded colleague.” My gaze flicked into the room, but Dichall was not visible from my vantage point. “I think I can take care of him.” Evelyn…

Episode 3: Fire!

Kheri held the basket out to his aunt. “Here’s your eggs.” “Put ‘em on the counter,” she replied without turning around from the sink. “You and your friend go wash up and fill the water barrel. Bucket’s by the pump. Get a move on…

Episode 1: Broken Ground

Sunlight shimmers through the trees, casting its flickering light on a child who is happily skipping through the grass with bare feet. A light breeze carries the first few leaves of Autumn gently down around him. The quiet of the country seems to hold…

Waiting for Greatness by Emily E. Jones

Waiting for Greatness Emily E. Jones Haman scratched at his shaggy red beard, wincing as he stretched his legs under the desk. His knees were swollen and warm every morning. It used to only take one shot of rum to start the day. He…

Prison Planet 7 by K. A. Williams

Prison Planet 7 K. A. Williams Topaz awoke in the top bunk bed, in a barracks full of other women, dressed in a gray uniform of soft breathable fabric and sturdy work boots. She was confused at first then her memory became clear. She…

Ratings by K. A. Williams

Ratings K. A. Williams “They’re not that bad,” said my booking aide. “Yeah, that’s what I heard from the lighting guy who’s one of their fans. I don’t happen to like that kind of music though, and why do they have so much hair?”…

Haven by K. A. Williams

Haven K. A. Williams I had just got home from work and was about to shut the door when I noticed a police hover car chasing three people that were running in my direction. “Over here!” The man pushed the woman and child ahead…

Danger Will Robinson by Phil Temples

Danger Will Robinson Phil Temples The alien space craft reconnoitered the planet Earth for months in preparation for a surprise invasion against the humans. It appeared as though the Earthlings lacked any united defenses with which to repel extraterrestrial attackers. However, upon entering orbit…

Klaatu Barada Nikto by Phil Temples

Klaatu Barada Nikto Phil Temples The spaceman stealthily approached the flying saucer in the Washington Mall. As he got closer, he was surprised to find that the MPs previously standing guard around the perimeter were now lying on the ground unconscious. His faithful robot,…

Episode 6: To Stand Against the Throne

Under the blaze of the noon-time sun, they mingled with the throngs filling the road to Duke Henry’s castle, the Splinter Rock. Cole soaked in the sights and sounds of the busy route. All sorts crowded the winding mountain track as it traced the…

Episode Eight – The Arrival

The K-9 Town females were busy planning for the upcoming ceremony. The pairing of Wolf Bennie Ba and Wolfhound Winnie. Chihuahua Conchita frowned, feigning anger. “You’d think they’d be more interested. Paco says, they’ll be there when the time comes… How’s that?” “Arf arf….

First Action

Spring: six months after leaving the Monastery, half a world away. Sunar leaned against the wall next to the door and watched a drunk stumble his way up to the bar. The human, one of the biggest he’d ever seen, slammed money down on…

Episode 40: Eve: Coffee at Dawn

I woke from a haunted dream. Dichall and I were in the Insterstitium again, and the weir we’d used to get there turned out to be one-way. We were stuck there – scared, and hounded by faeries. We’d found a hiding spot only to…

Chickens

Night stretched thin, surrendering to the dawn, as they left the town. Released by the dissipating mist, furrowed fields of muted brown unfolded to the horizon, the scent of newly mown hay drifting on the breeze. A smile tugged at the corner of Dale’s…

It’s Ten O’Clock Somewhere by Dee Caples

It’s Ten O’Clock Somewhere Dee Caples “Are you sure you want to do that?” Pablo stared at the bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream. It was the perfect compliment to a cup of coffee but he’d never had it speak before. Nancy had been bugging…

Interstellar Schism by Sme

Interstellar Schism Sme Transport rocket E-17 shot through space towards the tiny pale speck the crew called home. Kenan loved this part more than the others, reverse thrusters slowed them just as gravity reached out to pull them in. They had left from Mine…

Please Remember Me! by Charles C. Cole

G., a white-haired Italian craftsman, was recovering in a hospital bed, having suffered a tragic, bones-breaking fall. Though the staff managed his pain, they were nonetheless losing him – to Alzheimer’s. There was a bright, brief glimmer of “recall” when Pino first arrived in…

Unopened by J.S. Grant

Unopened J.S. Grant The package sat on the bamboo coffee table. Even though we both agreed to no gifts for our six-year anniversary, I was never going to follow that rule. Daniel always talked about how he wanted the first issue of the original…

Salamander Soldiers by Lauren McBride

Salamander Soldiers Lauren McBride I had a name once, in a life that seems as strange to me as my own appearance does now. I was among the first of those called Salamander Soldiers, an elite army unit favored with extra pay, an exclusive…

Turkey’s Hideout by K. A. Williams

Turkey’s Hideout K. A. Williams It was cold this morning; I fluffed up my feathers. I warmed my feet by scratching around for breakfast and dug up some tasty grubs and worms which I gobbled whole. “Your ma will be so proud of you…

A Mother’s Mourning by Patrick T. O’Connor

A Mother’s Mourning Patrick T. O’Connor Clutching the letter in my hands, I try to iron out the wrinkles and dry the tears that have long since stained its surface. “Don’t fret, your boy has been chosen!” the Rip tells me. “He has been…

A World Created by Alyson Tait

A World Created Alyson Tait “I am going to make the world—piece by piece, bead by bead. The felt will be the black sky — outer space — an endless sea of possibilities. It is a beginning. And with any luck, the end.” ***…

Ikiryō by Jeremy Akel

Ikiryō Jeremy Akel She almost had the shape of it. The world, she knew, was a cruel and inhospitable place. She had never known anyone to offer her a kindness unbidden, and even when the formalities were met, and the strict expectation of courtesy…

The Toymaker by Jeremy Akel

The Toymaker Jeremy Akel Once, long ago in an antique land, a toymaker, by nature a practical man, took it upon himself to fashion a doll, for his beloved daughter Anna. But not just any doll; for this was to be special, a gift…

Means of Escape by J. David Harper

Means of Escape J. David Harper Margie found the bottle in the wall of an old house when she hammered through the drywall to make room for a new door. She looked around for her brother, but he was sawing off plywood in the…

It Isn’t Blackmail by K. A. Williams

It Isn’t Blackmail K. A. Williams Manning University held its five year class reunion at the Hammersmythe Hotel and I went, hoping to see Roy Dalton. He was there, of course, smiling and basking in the admiration of his peers. I could see him…

Sweet Tooth by Robert F Young

The Snowball Effect by Katherine MacLean

The Next Logical Step by Ben Bova

Later Than You Think by Fritz Leiber

I Like Martian Music by Charles E. Fritch

The Gravity Business by James Edwin Gunn

 

Duel on Syrtis by Poul Anderson

Beyond Lies the Wub by Philip K. Dick

The Bell Tone by Edmund H. Leftwich

2 B R 0 2 B by Kurt Vonnegut Jr

1000 dollars a plate by Jack Mckenty

The Jezinkas – a Bohemian fairy tale

The Jezinkas A Bohemian fairy tale There was a poor orphan lad who had neither father nor mother, and was compelled to go out to service to get his living. He travelled a long way without being able to obtain an engagement, till one…

Long, Broad, and Sharpsight – a Bohemian fairy tale

Long, Broad, and Sharpsight A Bohemian fairy tale There once was a king, who was already old and had but one son. Once upon a time he called this son to him, and said to him, “My dear son! You know that old fruit…

Ghosts In The Machine by David Barber

Ghosts In The Machine David Barber They were my first visitors since arriving here; what pass for priests in this benighted world. I am writing down what happened, with its guilty conclusion, before the sense of it escapes me. The smaller, squatter of the…

Episode one: Beginnings

Darkness covered the city, flowing down the streets and collecting in the alleys. Silence sat heavily on the sleeping town – thick fog swathing the buildings or pooling in faintly orange, liquid puddles under the occasional street lamp. The town drunk stumbled down a…

Long Walk

Fall: 18 years at the Monastery, One year after building the Range Sunar woke to a change in Meesha’s breathing as the first rays of dawn glistened off the mountain tops and the reflected false-dawn lit his eyelids. He lay still and kept his…

Episode Seven – The Powers Within

Howls ignited the wilderness. “Look who’s here! Thor and Eagle McZen!” Twirls, hugs and other welcoming embraces ensued, leading to a full-blown celebration. “Hey! Howya doin,” Thor woofed, as he shuffled through pats and friendly bumps. “Been a while… Away from my baby brother…

Episode 39: The Daughter

You never really believe your mother will die. But when I woke, and saw a small, spinning bit of matter, no bigger than a human’s cerebellum, floating in the air in front of me, I could feel it. My mother, the great fae Yonya,…

True Story, Bro by Geoffrey Porter

True Story, Bro Geoffrey Porter They say garter snakes in your yard and garden are beneficial. But the snakes completely freak me out every time. Snakes seemed to really prefer my yard too, because I don’t use poisons. It hurts my poor brain to…

Bus Stop by Jasmine Arch

Bus Stop Jasmine Arch “Vampires? No such thing.” The stranger leaned in close as I scooted to the edge of the bench. “Biggest danger round here’s the bus being late.” With a chuckle, he stretched his long legs, twining his pale, slender fingers together….

The Crop by Jasmine Arch

The Crop Jasmine Arch Hayley’s eyes shone in the light of a crayon candle. “But Mummy, I don’t want my hair cut. You always say it’s pretty.” I kissed her sticky cheeks and hugged her before turning to my deadbeat ex. “Keep her safe,…

A Blade Remembers by Jasmine Arch

A Blade Remembers Jasmine Arch The dagger slipped from my numb fingers, clattering to the floor. It should have recognized my neurological sequences. Instead, it rejected me, the sting of shame cutting more deeply than any pain the weapon could inflict. I was the…

Still Waters by Jasmine Arch

Still Waters Jasmine Arch I held my breath and drew back my arm, a wooden fishing spear balanced in the palm of my hand. Next to me, Toura’s whispers faded as the mudhopper swam closer. “Wait for it.” She raised her arm. “Don’t look…

Termination by Lee Harrison

Termination Lee Harrison Desmund could only stare. His jaw hung open and his eyes moved erratically as if searching for something that could help rationalize what was happening. The small square office was empty. The monitor in front of him watched patiently, the cursor…

Hunting Bigfoot by K. A. Williams

Hunting Bigfoot K. A. Williams “Maybe Troy told Greg that he saw Bigfoot out here yesterday when he was collecting samples of the flora for his botany class, because he knew you were listening.” Parker skipped a stone across the lake’s surface. “He’s been…

Zelda’s Competition by K. A. Williams

Zelda’s Competition K. A. Williams I called my boyfriend Jordan, who’s a genius, on the computer, told him what I wanted and asked if he could do it. After I watched him laugh for a while, I interrupted him. “It’s not funny. There’s a…

Episode 5: The Scarred Hamlet

The thatch roofs of Kedenburg rose around the traveling companions. A wicker fence, trampled in places, ringed the village, and on the high ground near the edge of the settlement, a wooden stockade prodded at the sky with its timber fingers. From its palisade…

Episode 38: Rules are Rules

Back at headquarters, I sat next to Dichall’s bedding and held his hand. He was bandaged and unconscious. I’d left him behind, and felt terrible about it, but it looked like he might survive. Gretchen was there too. With her quick on-scene first aid,…

The Metamorphoses by Stephan James

The Metamorphoses Stephan James I first saw her on a Tuesday, early November. It was starting to chill down outside. That’s how Bradley always said it — “chill down”. I liked him for small things like that, but small things weren’t enough to keep…

Bus Stop 126 by David Wright

Bus Stop 126 David Wright A scruffy man in a brown toque sat at bus stop 126, waiting. From time to time, he looked at his watch, out across the empty intersection and up at the bus stop billboard. The woman in the ad…

D.P. 7 by Eric S Brown

D.P. 7 Eric S Brown In 1986 Marvel Comics’ introduced their “New Universe”.    These were a group of all new series that were supposed to be set in the present day, real world.    Titles in in the New Universe included Star Brand,…

In the Wrong Hands by Ed Nobody

In the Wrong Hands Ed Nobody Rain is streaming down the east window of the office. I didn’t want to get up this morning, but I did anyway. We line up one by one, like Disneyland, but more depressing. So like Disneyland Paris. They…

Calligrapher of Hanging Town by Salim Kingo

Calligrapher of Hanging Town Salim Kingo In Hanging Town, at the edge of the frosty, distant northern mining provinces, a jealous wife and an air sailor who seduced her husband brawled in a tavern. There was only one tavern in Hanging Town. The tavern…

Episode 4: By Force if Necessary

From across the meadow, a column of horsemen approached in two neat lines. At least fifteen in all, they were armored neck to boot-cuff in glittering chainmail. The tabards draped over their armor bore a black and yellow striped pattern that reminded Cole of…

Episode Six – The Timber Wolves Cometh

“He hasn’t changed a bit!” Shocka Din’s hackles raised, hair standing up straight along the back of his neck. His upper lip curled into a snarl. “Follow him!” Whines, groans, and soft growls fortified their bond. Head lowered, crouching to be heard but not…

Request Day

Fall: 18 years at the Monastery, One year after building the Range Music, chanting, drinking, food, celebration, and dance. That’s what Sunar had asked for, and everyone in the Monestary had turned out to oblige him at one point or another during the day….

Episode 37: The Forces of Good

Bracey the Talonted twisted in the air like a Snowbird fighter jet, avoiding the fae’s swirling, pointed limbs, and I held myself close to her feathers with four paws. We watched Yonya tear through my beloved woods. What have we unleashed on the world?…

Episode 3: The Sellsword’s Prize

From the shade of a canvas tarpaulin stretched between two spears a warrior stumbled to her feet, groggy and sweating under the weight of her padded gambeson. She strained her eyes against the noon-time sun as two strangers crossed the meadow, then roused her…

Family Ties

Fall: 17 years at the Monastery, three months after the duel, Day of the Range Sunar sat with his sake, enjoying the presence of his family and friends as the sun set over the far saddle between peaks. No, scratch that, my family, all…

Episode 36: Riding the Bear

I ran through the brush, careful not to clothesline the poor kid on my back with low-hanging branches. I’d never touched a human before today, let alone had one ride me, and it took me a few seconds to get the feel of it….

Pushing the Pull by Jim Davies

Pushing the Pull Jim Davies I dropped out of the sky behind Maz and his cop cruiser. He noticed people staring and turned to me. “Oh, hey, fly girl.” I smiled and raised my goggles up onto my forehead. We drove, because my partner…

Billable Hours by Jim Davies

Billable Hours Jim Davies The old man slid into the chair across from Dale with the precision and finality of a closing German car door. “Yes?” Dale was annoyed. She was an attorney and had lots of work to do. She was billing hours…

A Small Dull Thing by Chris Cerone

A Small Dull Thing Chris Cerone If he stuffed them in his pockets, The House couldn’t tell whether or not Jack had eaten his green beans and would release him to play. And so that was exactly what Jack did. The House would catch…

Undeserved Pardon by Reuben Rivers

Undeserved Pardon Reuben Rivers The benches were covered with gloom and dust. The smell of feces filled the air, filling each prisoner’s nose and mouth, a symbol for their sorry situation. Dim orbs hung in the air, casting light upon the room’s inhabitants, revealing…

Unhinged by Shuvayon Mukherjee

Unhinged Shuvayon Mukherjee ‘It’s locked! That cretin,’ Addvid swore. The steel tip of his boot connected with a thud, flinging chips of wood into the air. The door rattled in its hinges. ‘Calm down, Addvid,’ Mera said, frowning. ‘Calm down?’ the dwarf exploded. ‘We…

Friendly Hands

Fall: 17 years at the Monastery, three months after the duel Sunar found that he preferred training with laser and plasma pistols over the powder guns for one simple reason: With the slug-throwers he had to choose between hearing protection or having to spend…

Episode 35: Hunter is Hunted

I was staring, agape, sword out, but Dichall put his hand on my shoulder. “Eve! On the owl! Now!” I slipped my sword in my belt and leapt atop Bracey. Gretchen followed as snow erupted with the impact of Yonya’s fin. Bracey spread her…

Episode Five: Ready or Not, Here We Come

Arooooo! Saifon Blue vaulted from a disturbing sleep. Teeth bared, her grief-stricken snarl and aggressive stance enough to bring all around her into submission. All but her mate, King of Iron Dog Land, Nitro Blue, and they were alone. “Omar!” she growled. “My baby…

Episode 2: The Monster’s Trail

The sparse oaks of the foothills gave way to thick stands of highland cedar. The air was tinged with the fragrant scent of the conifer forest, and Cole stopped to take in the high-country air. He and Eleanor had gone three leagues before the…

Momentum by Helga Anton-Beitz

Momentum Helga Anton-Beitz The cocoon is hanging in the center of the huge hall. A silvery hull made of an ultra-light, metallic fabric. It is held in place by multiple filaments. After I will have boarded that cocoon they will propel it for days…

The Curse-Wrought Beast

Episode 1: The Curse-Wrought Beast Burnt grass crumpled under the tracker’s boot sole as he picked his way past the stockade. He brushed a hand against the charred cedar stakes, and it came away covered in soot. The sights, the smells in this place,…

Episode Four – King Cat Sateer – A friend indeed

Meowww! (Crunch, crackle, crunch, crunch) The leaves under my paws boost my spirits, but I need to take to the trees if I’m to proceed. (Whooosh! leap) Yes, much better. (Chirp, chirp, chirp) “Don’t worry little birds, I’m only passing through.” The long gnarly…

Troubling Experience

Summer: 17 years at the Monastery, one month after the duel Sunar lay in the meadow at the top of the temple. He had wrapped his wings around himself and Meesha so that they could enjoy the cool summer winds on the heights, stare…

Episode 34: Scuttle and Scuffle

Nathan froze, halfway in and halfway out of the truck, staring at the black bear. I turned and whispered into Nathan’s ear from his shoulder. “She’s a good bear; she won’t hurt you.” She better not. Nathan turned and looked at his dad for…

The Hair-born Princess by Ad Adi

Once upon a time, two princesses lived in a mighty castle, one five years old, the other three years old. The biggest sister was ugly, the little one was beautiful. Since beauty was valued above everything else in the royal family, their parents decided…

A Kind of Godhood by Russ Bickerstaff

A Kind of Godhood Russ Bickerstaff 7:15 am The world dissolved into him. Norm Jones. The name came to him It was his own. There was no doubt about it. Why then was it that the words sounded so very, very strange to him?…

The Minstrel’s Secret by Dee Caples

The Minstrel’s Secret Dee Caples Once upon a time there was a kingdom ruled by a man that was just and fair, until the day a wandering minstrel arrived. There was nothing outwardly extraordinary about the man. He was as squat as a toad…

The Vine Doombringer, Part II by Geoffrey C Porter

The Vine Doombringer, Part II Geoffrey C Porter The first night I surgically pulled five short two to three inch sprouts. I wore a headlamp with a bright LED light. The same knife that pulled the sprouts planted them in a flowerbed two houses…

Just One by Susan Cornford

Just One Susan Cornford I blame it on the award. If I hadn’t won that award, none of this would have happened. Well, some of it was beyond my control, but the final part, the saddest part, was all my egotistical doing. Every year…

Massacre by Hervé Suys

Massacre Hervé Suys The fact that the dog did not come wagging his tail when he opened the door was bizarre. It had not been his idea to bring a dog into the house, but the pressure from wife and children had become too…

The Protected One by Hervé Suys

The Protected One Hervé Suys Suspicion was the last thing they wanted the population to have. A committee was set up, presided over by a protégé from the regime who still had credit for services rendered. His track record was excellent, his loyalty unquestionable,…

Episode Three – Potbellies to the Rescue

“Let’s pick up the pace. We’ll be there in no time, if we do,” Pitbull Sammy shouted out to the others, exhilarated by the wind beating against his agile, forceful body. “Sure thing! Omar wants us there and back as soon as possible. He’ll…

Episode 33: Meeting the Bear

The next night we snuck into Nathan’s room for the last time. Guy had arranged for a visit with him, and we were going to accompany him. I invoked my veilring. “Nathan, it’s time to go. Your dad’s outside.” “I’m not sure I want…

Heading Home

Summer: 17 years at the Monastery, one week after the duel Several loudspeakers blared over the general noise of the Space Port. “Boarding call for Passenger Liner Excelsior. All Excelsior passengers holding blue passes, please report to boarding gate three.” Sunar stood, a little…

Chain of Memories by Sme

Chain of Memories Sme Weathered old wood creaked perilously as Sunny sat down on the front steps of her home. The warm air, rank with smoke, whistled through the bare trees. She used to sit out here, hot cup of tea in hand, to…

The Adventure

The Adventure – a parable by crystalwizard Several friends met to decide on an adventure, and the conversation went this way: Ralph Fremont spoke first, saying, “I feel the need for something exhilarating. I propose we sail around the world. I think…” Andy Doyle…

An Incident from the Childhood of Plato by Grove Koger

An Incident from the Childhood of Plato Grove Koger “But afterwards [claimed Solon] there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth, and the island of Atlantis…

The Vine Doombringer by Geoffrey C Porter

The Vine Doombringer Geoffrey C Porter The plants started out as beneficial ground cover, in vine form, choking out weeds and no need to mow.  Years passed.  I lived my life.  Ate tasty food.  Worked.  Made art. To my horror as I looked around,…

The Last Teacher on Earth by Chad Gayle

The Last Teacher on Earth Chad Gayle Don’t panic. Last week, Trina said they were just three-percent shy of final deployment, which means that I’ll be entering the final phase of my contract very soon. It might be another heuristics test, or there might…

The Mermaid’s Genesis by Ad Adi

Once upon a time, at the island of Tinos, lived a little boy and his grandma. They were poor and hungry, and every night his grandma would tell him the story of the golden fish of the depths, to put him to sleep. One…

The Crystal Cup by Ad Adi

At the top of mount Ararat lived once a mighty king. He had a marble palace, a couple of ministers, a lot of fields around the mountain, and a huge army of rats. To feed his army, he demanded every year more and more…

The Toothbrush Maker’s Apprentice by Victoria Mason

The Toothbrush Maker’s Apprentice Victoria Mason “Just scratch your name there.” I pause, staring at my new boss, Doctor Taylor. “It’s just formalities,” he continues. “You’ll be famous for the work you do.” “No, I—” “Apologies, I mean respected. Making a difference for humankind….

Heads Up by Fraser Sherman

Heads Up Fraser Sherman When I opened my brother’s new front-loading washing machine, I didn’t expect to find a shaggy bearded head inside. I suppose I should have noticed it sooner — the door is glass — but hey, I was in a hurry….

Episode 32: A plan in motion

Bracey flew us to the Ottawa General Hospital where we tracked down Musk Muskmusk in the burn ward, eating pain from patients from beneath their beds. I clicked Grassblade on the tile floor. “Hi there, buddy.” Musk turned his heavy antlered head around as…

Episode Two – Pack Love

Wolf Bennie Ba hadn’t gone far when he came across the search party. A few of his buddies from K-9 Town were out looking for him. It was Rottweiler Brady who spoke first, his uncanny intuition triggering concern at first glance. “Hey Bennie, what’s…

Gaudy Pistols

Summer: 17 years at the Monastery, a few hours after meeting Thalon A few hours in an air car took Sunar, Master Ikthan, and Thalon to the Ratharin estate. Sunar found himself approaching the largest, most ostentatious doors he’d ever seen. He would never…

Tux by Dee Caples

Tux Dee Caples It was three a.m. The night sky was cloudy with the moon in quarter phase. A perfect night for b&e. Himey pulled his face mask down as he made his approach to the big, Georgian mansion. Supposedly he didn’t need precautions…

In Sunshine And In Shadow by Ed Blundell

In Sunshine And In Shadow Ed Blundell “Come on Danny Boy.” Jane lifted him off the swing. “Time to go home for tea.” “I’m not Danny Boy, I’m Adrian.” he protested. “I know darling. It’s a pet name.” She began to sing softly, as…

The Chimes by Charles Dickens

The Chimes by Charles Dickens Abridged by Lee A. Hart First Quarter There are not, I say, many people who would dare to sleep in a church. I don’t mean at sermon-time on a warm Sunday; but in the dead of night, and alone….

Episode One – The Takeover – Wolf Bennie Ba’s surprise

Wolf Bennie Ba’s heart rate accelerated as he stood alone in the forest, stunned by what he saw below. He was looking down on a pack of timber wolves led by his old enemy, Shocka Din. The same pack that had viciously attacked him…

Episode 31: Man Against

The man stood, backlit from the door of his cabin, holding a shotgun and staring slack-jawed at four talking animals on his stoop. Finally, he waved us in. We went right to the fire. Bracey shook snowflakes from her head. The man turned around…

New Second

Summer: 17 years at the Monastery, twelve weeks after second assassination attempt “It’s time.” Master Ikthan’s voice brought Sunar out of his meditation. He’d elected not to keep the scar on his arm, and divided his meditation time between seamlessly repairing his skin and…

Epilogue by JM Williams

Vott grunted in desperation. It wasn’t supposed to end this way. All his experience. All his training. To be undone by such an amateur move. “You got to be kidding me!” Vott shouted. “What sort of pimple-nosed peachick tries a 5-9 split in a professional…

Musician in Paris by Steven Translateur

Musician in Paris Steven Translateur Ceank Girald was an extra-terrestrial intelligence agent with a 30 year mission to immerse himself in Earth culture, send a message to Earthlings, and report back to his home world of Pegasi his findings.  His spaceship landed him in…

The Waiting Game by Josephine Clay

The Waiting Game Josephine Clay The dog just sits there. Centre plaza. Drooping jowls and long heavy ears. Black and brindle mattered coat. Its blood shot eyes have frozen me to the spot for so long that I can’t remember when I first came…

The Survivor by R. Michael

The Survivor R. Michael Steam wafted from Joe’s coffee cup as he carefully sipped its contents. “Thank you for coming. Taking this first step is the biggest hurdle for most.” The woman sitting across the desk from him nodded. She clasped her hands, resting…

Un-Replicable by Emmet Browne

Un-Replicable Emmet Browne I wake up to the prickle of grass along my skin. The fetal position is how I sleep at night. Above me is the solar-powered clear plastic of my dome, letting the sun shine through. Beyond the dome are the other…

The Three Islands (part 2) by Sme

The Three Islands (part 2) Sme (Read part 1) On the Island of Malai, Reve and Purl had lived happily together for three years. They had a brand new baby girl, named Olivia, who was just half a year old. His parents had traveled…

The Three Islands (part 1) by Sme

The Three Islands (part 1) Sme Far out in an ocean, vast and bleak, there were three islands. The first was called Dorai. It’s people seemed primitive at first glance, choosing to live in caves and subsisting on fish caught from the reefs on…

The Prize

The man with braided hair had gained a fair lead by the time Frige got outside, but the gambling boss did not have her legs, nor her keen sense of the geography of Marudal’s streets. Spotting the trail of destruction the terrified man left…

Sunny Afternoon

Summer: 17 years at the Monastery, twelve weeks after second assassination attempt “What surprised me was that Sierra pulled it off. I mean, hummingbird to meet against crane-in-the-rushes? I expected to see her head pile into the mat!” Gorshun motioned with his head to…

Episode 30: The Crazy Man in the Woods

At our request, Nathan gave us a cracker and I told him goodbye, we’ll be in touch, don’t trust faeries, etc. Out in the cold, I turned to my fellow Councilmice. “I think we should get in touch with an owl, and see if…

Sunshine Valley by Medina Jones

Sunshine Valley Medina Jones The afternoon dust had poured through the canyon, skimming over the valley’s cracked red clay, whirling around the tires of the car. A whisper drifted through the breeze, echoing across the towering rock walls. The call of the wind, desolate…

End Game

The whole thing was going better than Vott could have dreamed. He’d beaten three other worthy opponents to make it to the final round of the tournament. All on his own. He hadn’t needed Jari in his corner, whispering strategy in his ear. He…

Casual Response

Summer: 17 years at the Monastery, eight weeks after second assassination attempt Twist, curl, circle, thrust. Turn, bring the staff around, strike, circle it, stop, reverse, circle, strike. The fifty pound staff in Sunar’s hands whirled almost as if it were alive. Few in…

Episode 29: Children Can Be Frightened

A hideous claw snatched a single feather from Bracey’s tail as she hopped through the weir, carrying us on her back. She spread her wings and flew a short distance away, shouting “Get back! Get back!” Eventua reached through the weir, her sickly arm…

The Brotherhood by Joseph Hurtgen

The Brotherhood Joseph Hurtgen At five in the morning I closed my laptop, thinking about my 20,000 gold, the grim reaper’s scythe, and logging back into Death Kingdom tomorrow, or, uh, later today, I guess. “You out?” called Double Sam from the room across…

If You Can’t Beat Him, Feed Him by Dee Caples

If You Can’t Beat Him, Feed Him Dee Caples Her skin had been supple and smooth but had now bowed to the inexorable march of time. As invisible cracks formed they felt like the legs of creeping insects and she despised insects even more…

The Treatment by Coleman Bomar

The Treatment Coleman Bomar Dear Margaret, I know written letters are beyond impractical, but what I have to say deserves some physicality. After months of treatment, my brain no longer produces dopamine at the sight of your red smile. The operations were effective experiences….

Final Positioning

“Just hear me out,” Jari was saying. He had to get Vott to understand. Every player had their blind spots. “I’m not saying you shouldn’t be confident. You’ve got the basics down, yes. But you need to be prepared for anything, Wissian.” The two…

Episode 28: Entering the Interstitium

I followed Gretchen and Dichall through the portal into another world. Bracey the Talonted, our owl companion, followed. The sky was bluer than I would ever have guessed blueness could get. The snow was the whitest white. But the strangest thing was the lack…

Ringing Bells

Summer: 17 years at the Monastery, six weeks after the assassination attempt Sunar walked down the hall with his friends. Last bell had just sounded, and the Temple was beginning to settle down for the night. This meant, of course, that the Titans had…

The House by crystalwizard

The House crystalwizard “I hear tell that there’s treasure hid in that old house. Gold, I heard.” Mac paused with his beer half-way to his lips and shot a sideways glance at the short, fat stranger dressed in a black velvet shirt, and grungy…

The Cricket and the Ant translation by Don Webb

Originally published in Bewildering Stories: La Cigale et la fourmi by Jean de La Fontaine La cigale ayant chanté Tout l’été, Se trouva fort dépourvue Quand la bise fut venue : Pas un seul petit morceau De mouche ou de vermisseau. Elle alla crier…

Morgan And The Wildfire Meme by David Barber

Morgan And The Wildfire Meme David Barber Morgan was flying. He flew as a bird, some ill-defined species of raptor with enormous wingspan, cruel beak and black gleaming eye. Lesser passerines and seabirds also flew the Airs, but it was Morgan, and none of…

Life Changing by Ben Coppin

Life Changing Ben Coppin “It’s your birthday,” Sarah tells me in the office canteen, as we share a salad. “You should get a little magic in your life.” I smile. “Yes, you’re right. Why don’t you come to my party? It’s tonight at my…

Failure to Communicate by Ben Coppin

Failure to Communicate Ben Coppin They vivisected the first envoy. The second human to visit the alien ship was a professor of Linguistics. She spent a year alone with the aliens, and when she returned, she bore a message. The message described a vast…

Apotheosis by Christopher Ramos

Apotheosis Christopher Ramos The jewel of Sol hung in the blackness of space over the dusty lunar landscape. Transcontinental fires speckled the seething ecosystem of the Americas. Yet, it was not this distant agony that captivated him, but incandescent, familial visages exposed to him…

Defensive Strategy

The west watchhouse was as silent as it had ever been, at least in the many years Vott had called the place a second home. Of course, silence was all part of the plan. Vott needed to think, without the constant bickering of the…

The Talk

Summer: 17 years at the Monastery, just after the assassination attempt Lenar had insisted on driving the car after their shift. He didn’t mention why, but Sunar knew. They had started to give their report to the next security shift and been waved off…

Episode 27: The Weir

Hospitals, I learned, had so many faeries and so many dedicated Councilmice it was like a whole other social structure, with its own idiosyncratic culture. Technically, Beatrice Brownbrow was the ultimate leader in Ottawa, but in practice, the hospital Councilmice were pretty autonomous. Here,…

The Golden Beetle or Why the Dog Hates the Cat

The Golden Beetle or Why the Dog Hates the Cat Chinese Folk Tale “What we shall eat to-morrow, I haven’t the slightest idea!” said Widow Wang to her eldest son, as he started out one morning in search of work. “Oh, the gods will…

Reckless Advance

“How about you let me go in first?” Wolf said, his hand on the door of the small, ground floor apartment. “What makes you think I’d let you do that?” Frige replied, a hand on her hip. “Rouda told me what you’re like. If…

Episode 26: The Hospital

On our way out of Council headquarters Dichall led us to the food pantry. “If we’re going to get a bird to take us all the way to the hospital, we’re going to need to give them something.” We were procuring a small sackful…

First Try

Summer: 17 years at the Monastery. The strong light of a summer’s mid-day sun greeted Sunar as he stepped from the pub. He closed his eyes and turned his face to it for a moment as he walked, reveling in the warmth against his…

The Bellatrix by David Barber

The Bellatrix David Barber All Martians know the works of Jammes Bek. They read them at school. Everyone else finds them too gloomy, too full of regret. This is a story about Bek before he was famous, and the woman of the Bellatrix who…

Doom Patrol by Eric S Brown

The Doom Patrol live action series that launched on the DC universe App. this year is a mix of the classic series and Grant Morrison’s groundbreaking run. The team consists of the original members – Robotman, Negative Man, Elasti-Girl, and the Chief, but also…

Daredevil: Know Fear by Eric S Brown

Daredevil: Know Fear Eric S Brown Know Fear is the latest Daredevil trade paperback. It collects the first five issues of the current series being written by Chip Zdarsky and picks up right after the events of the last Daredevil series. Wilson Fisk is…

Anglish, Late Flowering, Fictional Mode by David Barber

Anglish, Late Flowering, Fictional Mode David Barber Haydn Jan was famed for having read all the books; Bruss, the outworlder from Hellhole who saved him, was not even well-known on Hellhole. This is how they met. Prised out of retirement to represent the Museum…

A Good Witch or A Bad Witch? by Dee Caples

A Good Witch or A Bad Witch? Dee Caples Caladia’s clientele was quite small, mostly girls wanting a love potion or pregnant women coming around to have the little one’s fortune told. Today it was serious. Mr. Whinge needed to get rid of his…

First Move

“So you’re married, eh?” Vott asked Jari. The pair were maneuvering through a packed backstreet. Market Street, Marudal’s main thoroughfare for highbrow commerce, was only a few blocks away, but one wouldn’t know it from the look of the narrow road they were currently…

Pub Time

Summer: 17 years at the Monastery Gravel crunched beneath Sunar’s feet as he walked the streets of town. He greeted many of the town’s residents with a nod or a tilt of his staff, enjoying an easy familiarity with the people, the quiet of…

Episode 25: Aggressive Negotiations

Imbingy, the faerie childhunter, had me pinned in the snow, his steely hands tightening around my throat. “Die, rodent!” He thinks calling me a rodent is an insult? I’ll show him! I pulled my hind legs between us, put my back paws on his…

Ass Hat by Robert Stout

Ass Hat Robert Stout I sat in my comfy blue chair, listening to Jill Thompson’s weekly prattle. I took few notes. Then, mercifully, her hour was up. I gently guided her back to the lobby and asked Doris to make her another appointment. Doris…

Episode 24: Leak of the Lie

Gretchen, Dichall, and I sat on a box that used to hold matches, attending an emergency Council meeting. Beatrice cleared her throat to quiet everyone down. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have an informant who would like to brief us on something.” She turned to…

Choosing Sides

“I’ve got little patience for your games today, Rauda.” Watch Officer Frige Dalgaard held the scrawny fence up by a fistful of his shirt. It was an empty threat, she knew. There was only so much she could do to someone like Rauda, someone…

Soft Promises

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, Second morning after snow ski bet. Feet forward into a modified mule kick, wings back for support. Level flight. Barrel roll in place, GAH! too far. Correct, come out facing the sky. Negative-dive, pearl-on-water, NO! that was three…

The Facilitator by Lyn McConchie

The Facilitator Lyn McConchie Wizard Bingelgretson focused his spell through his facilitator and spoke the release word clearly. There was a tingling in the air as a cloud of smoke flattened out and developed a shining surface. A silver surround crawled around that and…

Quiet Moment

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, Morning after snow ski bet. Sunar perched atop the gazebo at the highest point of the temple, deep in his morning meditation. He kept his eyes open, his back to the valley, and faced the world outside. He…

Setting the Pieces

Where was that gods-forgotten game set? Watch Sergeant Wissian Vott tossed a box of whetstones aside as he rummaged through the watchhouse storage room. The box tipped to the floor, the cacophony of stones upon concrete assaulting his ears and his patience. Of course,…

Episode 23: Luring the Child

I woke up swatting at something on my face, but felt nothing but air. Two little people fought on my chest, and a strange, wailing noise stopped—when I realized it was me. I sat up in bed and knocked the creatures off, still struggling…

Pysbie and Thiramus by Raymond Lane

Pysbie and Thiramus Raymond Lane Aloneness and alcohol would provide comfort. Pysbie sat in the corner, as detached as he could be sharing a small room with a woman. A plain brown shroud encircled his body and tail; an orange cap covered his head,…

Sabotage by Dan Rice

Sabotage Dan Rice Liberty Station isn’t the largest outpost in the vast expanse of vacuum we call space, but for a boy from Old Earth like me, it’s the best duty assignment imaginable. I mean, my God, there are aliens! Blue-skinned Starlight Missionaries and…

Fire & Ice by David Barber

Fire & Ice David Barber To wreck a planet, first choose a suitable asteroid. After mounting fusion drivers, pinch the plasma and tune the mix until the jets burn invisibly. Such vast tonnage is not easily swayed, but sensitive instruments will register a change….

A Tale Worth Telling by Charles Gramlich

A Tale Worth Telling Charles Gramlich Morning fog streams through the great forest like the smoke of a thousand fires. The clan forages through the mist-blurred world, gorging on succulent red and yellow fruits that dangle from the trees. They move leisurely, selecting only…

Downhill Play

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, a month after Coronation Sunar flew at an even pace toward the top of the ski lift while Gorshun – who sat in a loop at the other end of the rope he carried – laughed, hooted, and…

Episode 22: The Crow Gentry

I entered the Mundane World through a secret weir near the ceiling of the Rideau Centre Mall, and flapped my faerie wings until I was on the ceiling. I changed my colour to stay camouflaged. Not that anybody looks straight up in a mall….

The Last Tiger by Lyn McConchie

The Last Tiger Lyn McConchie Yashi stared up at the billboard. It told all who could read that ‘The Last Tiger is now able to be observed by courtesy of the Emperor.’ She studied the picture. She knew what the words said only because…

The Great Gorge by Sme

The Great Gorge Sme Far away, near the edge of a vast gorge, an ancient tree let out a sigh. It was not an audible sigh, but one released into the air in a wave of fresh scent. The smell, like that of new…

Hunted Down by Charles Dickens

Hunted Down Charles Dickens I. Most of us see some romances in life. In my capacity as Chief Manager of a Life Assurance Office, I think I have within the last thirty years seen more romances than the generality of men, however unpromising the…

Drunk in the Afterlife by Michael Ehart

Drunk in the Afterlife Michael Ehart There was a shout, and then darkness. There were things to be known. I was cold. Very cold. It was dark, dark in a fuliginous black-beyond-black, there would never again be light in the world kind of dark….

Crossing Svara by Sme

Crossing Svara Sme Svara is a fairly small planet covered almost entirely by a vast grassland. Enormous rivers criss cross it’s surface, but most are dry for nearly half the year. The wet and dry seasons rotate with the planet, causing temporary seas in…

The Nugget by Steve Bartholomew

The Nugget Steve Bartholomew San Francisco, 1852 I guess you want another story about the gold rush. You newspaper folks are all alike. You get paid for writing down other people’s yarns when you get tired of making up your own. Well, I don’t…

Hezzie by Steve Bartholomew

Hezzie Steve Bartholomew I am Hyram Courtenay. Since Lisbeth and I arrived in San Francisco we have almost got used to seeing weird and strange things. We moved here from the east because this was a quiet Mexican pueblo called Yerba Buena, a place…

Mr. Skelmersdale in Fairyland by H. G. Wells

Mr. Skelmersdale in Fairyland H. G. Wells “There’s a man in that shop,” said the Doctor, “who has been in Fairyland.” “Nonsense!” I said, and stared back at the shop. It was the usual village shop, post-office, telegraph wire on its brow, zinc pans…

The Truth about Pyecraft by H. G. Wells

The Truth about Pyecraft H. G. Wells He sits not a dozen yards away. If I glance over my shoulder I can see him. And if I catch his eye—and usually I catch his eye—it meets me with an expression. It is mainly an…

The Valley of Spiders by H. G. Wells

The Valley of Spiders H. G. Wells Towards mid-day the three pursuers came abruptly round a bend in the torrent bed upon the sight of a very broad and spacious valley. The difficult and winding trench of pebbles along which they had tracked the…