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 peeks. No, scratch that, my family, all…

Episode 34: 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

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Billable Hours by Jim Davies

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A Small Dull Thing by Chris Cerone

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Undeserved Pardon by Reuben Rivers

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Unhinged by Shuvayon Mukherjee

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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…

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

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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

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The Minstrel’s Secret by Dee Caples

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The Vine Doombringer, Part II by Geoffrey C Porter

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Just One by Susan Cornford

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Massacre by Hervé Suys

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The Protected One by Hervé Suys

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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

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The Adventure

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An Incident from the Childhood of Plato by Grove Koger

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The Vine Doombringer by Geoffrey C Porter

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The Last Teacher on Earth by Chad Gayle

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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

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Heads Up by Fraser Sherman

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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

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In Sunshine And In Shadow by Ed Blundell

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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

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The Waiting Game by Josephine Clay

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Un-Replicable by Emmet Browne

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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

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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

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The Treatment by Coleman Bomar

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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

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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

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Life Changing by Ben Coppin

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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,…

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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

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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…

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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

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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

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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…

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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

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Episode 21: The Haunted Kindergarten

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Defiant Anticipation

Sunar moved slowly through his morning katas, keeping his motions synced with the rest of the children. They stood in the Dawn Court, moving from position to position in unison, setting their tempo by the adept’s walking staff as he tapped out a rhythm…

Matthew’s Diary by John C. Mannone

Matthew’s Diary John C. Mannone Matthew tosses in his sleep, sits up on the rumpled canvas in his wedge-tent, and cradles his face. He stares into the crevices of the dark corner. The moon throws his lanky shadow on the other wall; he is…

Discovery

          Sunar ran a hand down the edge of each wing, and pushed against them with his hands. He felt a tiny bit more resistance, and a little more resilience, than last week. It had been six months, an entire six months, since he’d…

Flying Mind

    Sunar sat, trying to concentrate on the feeling of the morning sun on his skin, rather than his sixth birthday party, while matching the breathing of Master Ikthan beside him. His friends had enjoyed the party as much as he had, for which…

Sounds of Children

        Three glass cups sat upon a bench in the sunken Children’s Court of the monastery, about twenty feet away from five-year-old Sunar’s intent stare. What little attention not focused on the glasses before him made brief note of his teacher beside him. He…

Wounded Acceptance

     A sniffling sound came from Sunar. Iktahn turned to see a horrified expression on the boy’s face, eyes locked on the blood trickling from his mother’s ear. Sunar stood there, wings still clutched in his hands, mouth agape, eyes like dinner plates. Ikthan…

The Sneeze Heard Round the Universe by Daniel R. Jones

The Sneeze Heard Round the Universe Daniel R. Jones It’s hard to call any position in the Intergalactic Starforce a “cushy job,” but if there was an easier role, Colonel Scyruh couldn’t imagine it. 16 years of grunt work had finally earned him his…

Winged Demands

    Master Ikthan entered the home of Tanu and Katja. He found Sunar already in the other room, engrossed in playing with his blocks, and Dr. Soren waiting.     Katja started to speak, but hesitated, exchanged a look with her husband, and Tanu spoke,…

Last Girl by CB Droege

Last Girl CB Droege The town was surrounded by a thick wall of refuse. Most towns were. They had protected themselves against the wilderness by piling up anything they could find between the buildings at the outskirts. Often more walls divided the town inside…

Until Dawn

     Master Ikthan, leader of the four-peaks temple, listened with an uneasy heart as his friends and charges, Katja and Tanu, explained their concerns for Sunar to himself and Sarah, Katja’s mother. He felt glad that they had come to him for council, for…

The Trouble with Unsolicited Messages By Richard H. Fay

The Trouble with Unsolicited Messages Richard H. Fay “We have a genuine extraterrestrial signal,” a SETI technician announced excitedly as he adjusted the knob on the receiver. Every scientist in the crowded dark room gathered closer as a series of strange cosmic messages came…

Father Ryan’s Fright by Richard H. Fay