A Private Eye For Magic Folk by Charles C Cole

A Private Eye For Magic Folk Charles C Cole I’m a detective. Once upon a time, I helped a non-humanoid, and now magic folk line up outside my office like they’re getting free front-row tickets to the elf king’s coronation. Not every customer leaves…

The Adventure Starts

They reached the town as the sun hit zenith, baking dusty streets that bustled with noisy activity. Kheri threaded through the commotion, turning down a small side road not too far from the town entrance. He led the way past several shops and finally…

Download A Daydream by K. A. Williams

Download A Daydream K. A. Williams The website at ‘Download A Daydream’ had some interesting selections including – meet underground inhabitants of Mars, sail the high seas with Captain Blackbeard (I already had that daydream), and travel through space with the crew of the…

‘byss Gazer by Michael W. Clark

‘byss Gazer Michael W. Clark They stood on the observation deck of the space platform gazing out into the Universe. It is not dark. There is light all over the Universe, it is just uneven. That point a star. That point a galaxy. That…

Episode 49: Eve: The Brutish Dog

Gretchen blinked up at me from out of the floof. “Do you see something?” “No, everything looks the same. But that bird was talking nonsense.” Gretchen crawled up next to me, Emerson fluttering on her shoulder. She looked up at the nuthatch. “Ma’am? Have…

Episode Six – The Hastening

“To sow the seeds of education is a bitter chore, but the fruits harvested from your work are always sweet.” -Motto above the entrance to the Library of Ayers Loft Taja couldn’t sleep. Thoughts of the magic woman skittered through her mind. The wonderment…

Falling Feathers by Melissa R. Mendelson

Falling Feathers Melissa R. Mendelson Little brown birds covered sidewalks and streets, their legs tucked beneath them, and their wings broken but still covering their heads. They squeezed their eyes shut while their bodies shook. Cries slipped out through open beaks. The sound was…

The Beach On Tiragell by K. A. Williams

The Beach On Tiragell K. A. Williams Previously published in issue 28 of View From Atlantis on July 3rd 2021 Twin moons illuminated the beach. When clouds briefly blocked the light, I could still hunt seashells because they glowed in the dark. I had…

Umbrella Tree by John C. Mannone

Umbrella Tree John C. Mannone a cleave poem  

A Wishmaster’s Wish by Charles Cole

A Wishmaster’s Wish Charle’s Cole The shirtless genie ducked his head as he entered my office. For a moment, I thought he wasn’t going to fit; he was large like a troll. He practically folded himself in half to fit on my sofa. When…

Of Horses and Tack

They left the house and walked over to a near-by pasture. Several horses trotted up to the fence at their approach and Paw reached up to stroke one on the muzzle. “Take your pick. How many ya need?” Dale leaned his arms on the…

Flash Party

Click, click, clickitty-clickitty-click. The keys on the antique styled keyboard made a satisfying, almost hypnotic sound as he typed. Some of Sunar’s crewmates had given him a hard time when he’d salvaged the thing, but he’d always preferred a keyboard when entering text. It…

Episode 48 Eve: Drawings from a Missing Child

  As the desk fell to the floor, Gretchen leaped to the safety on the bed, Emerson briefly taking flight before landing again on her head. The pencils went everywhere, and papers from inside the drawer fluttered out all around us. I snipped the…

Episode 15 – Something Crueler Coming our Way

Circling the timber wolves’ camp at a slow trot, Major Diggs countered their hisses and low growls with unflinching narrowed eyes and bared teeth. Time for Omar to put an end to this. He’s being too soft on ‘em. They’ll be getting’ restless soon……

Episode Five – Tarot Ranseur

“One learns there is a hook in most gifts, a binding in many benefits. One day, the line from the hook to the benefactors will be reeled.” -Ahfoot Clairendon, of the Guild of the Platinum Wyvern Ramsay blew out his breath, played with his…

The Island and the Sailor by Charles C Cole

The Island and the Sailor Charles C Cole One night a sailor, Khondro Elisaf, fell overboard in a raging storm while at sea. Exhausted and bruised, he ultimately washed up on an uncharted island. As it happened, the island, Iochetes, was sentient – due…

A Second Caesar by Charles C Cole

A Second Caesar Charles C Cole Our grad school program won a research grant to investigate Central American villagers having an extremely high incidence of mental health issues: domestic abuse, night terrors, suicides. We reviewed diet, genes, microbiology in the drinking water, heavy metals…

A Blade of Grass by Melissa R. Mendelson

A Blade of Grass Melissa R. Mendelson I screamed when I saw the sandbox. My mother tried to put me on the sand, but I wrapped my arms around her neck, kicking my legs away from its surface. I begged her not to drop…

Unfinished Business by Charles C Cole

Unfinished Business Charles C Cole At the time of these events, I lived in the same small Vermont town as the famous author of supernatural stories, William LeRoy. To the locals, he was a favored son. When he shopped, people nodded politely, but they…

The Backup Plan by Charles C Cole

The Backup Plan Charles C Cole My widower father obsessed about my getting hurt. He even had me wear an emergency pendant to reach him, with the press of one button, during a crisis. My friends and I had just graduated from high school…

Occupational Hazards by Oliver Anderson

Occupational Hazards Oliver Anderson In a just world, archaeology would be a boring profession, but sadly Eleanor did not live in a just world. She came to this conclusion while she was on expedition several miles below the surface of the earth carving a…

The Higher We Rise, The Further We Fall by Melissa R. Mendelson

The Higher We Rise, The Further We Fall Melissa R. Mendelson Kicking at the dirt and leaves in front of him, Tommy trailed behind his friends, Billy and David. He paused for a moment to look back at the town. The laughter of his…

Kertmag the Terrible by Julian Grant

Kertmag the Terrible Julian Grant Kertmag the Terrible leaned back in his well-worn armchair and popped up his large, bunny-clad feet. Not real bunnies, as he was Kertmag the Terrible and not Kertmag the Cruel or Unusually Vicious Towards Small Fluffy Animals. These bunnies…

Only Time Will Tell by Stanlei Bellan

Only Time Will Tell Stanlei Bellan “Sorry, your honor. I was unwillingly delayed by some matter.” “You are here now, that is all that matters. Will you state your name for the record, please?” Lord Chance requested. “Wouldn’t you agree that more relevant than…

Grossetto by Alaric DeArment

Grossetto Alaric DeArment The light from outside illuminated the stained-glass windows of St. James Cathedral, concealing Seattle’s dense autumnal fog and misty dampness, and adding a bit of color to the funeral. My father, Thomas O’Donnell, had died on October 9th, 1995 from acute…

Episode 14 – Dreams and Choices

“Glad they’re gonna spend some time with the females,” Thor grumbled as he and Bennie sauntered after Seers Rasta Mama and Great Dane Granny. “Yep,” Bennie woofed. “We can use a break. Especially if they keep getting those visions in their sleep. Wasn’t that…

Episode Four – The Siren

“The siren’s song possesses the charms of the ocean and the treachery of its depths.” -The Lady, Tarot Ranseur The parson drew the little girl aside, wringing his weathered hands as he looked at her. Her large eyes were filled with trust, and it…

Episode Six: Mountain Valley

That night, Carrie and Garrett sat at the kitchen table whispering excitedly. Joyce had gone to bed, but they didn’t want her to hear them. “I just vanished?” Carrie asked, thinking hard. “Soon as you stepped forward into that misty air, yeah. Just gone….

Captain’s Cabin

Sunar gave another firm yank on the cord. It cleared whatever had snagged it and jerked in his hand. He had no trouble pulling it the rest of it out of the conduit to be rewarded by the sight of the wire tied to…

Episode 47: Eve: Vivian’s Room

Gretchen proudly showed me and Dichall her moth, her eyes glistening with joy and pride. I stroked the new familiar’s back gently. “Emerson…She’s beautiful, Gretchen. Congratulations.” She held the moth close and whispered to it. “I’ll never let anything happen to you.” Waffles sighed….

Breakfast at the Tuckers

Dale was waiting on the porch when Kheri came outside. “Tell me what this is.” He opened his hand and held out the papers he’d found in the pocket. Kheri’s eyes widened and his mouth fell open. “Wow!” Dale arched his eyebrows. “I assume…

Behind the Timestream by Stanlei Bellan

Behind the Timestream Stanlei Bellan B’litk throws itself into the timestream, selflessly. It does not regret, but it does fear. Will it starve to death if it never grows hungry and thirsty again? Will its consciousness wither into nothingness if its body never ages…

The Hum by Melissa R. Mendelson

The Hum Melissa R. Mendelson It sounded like a refrigerator was running. Maybe, a microwave. It wasn’t what you would hear in a hospital. There, it was more of gasps and beeps. Then, a flatline, a sound that I thought would never leave. It…

Mother by Holden Zuras

Mother Holden Zuras What are we doing on this rock?” I asked, staring at the desolate wasteland.  “Do you remember your mother, child?” Papa rolled his shoulders forward as he spoke. “What do you mean?” My childish excitement overpowered my desire to remain calm….

The Wizard of Lowell Road by Charles C Cole

The Wizard of Lowell Road Charles C Cole Last cheery fire of the fading summer. Vacation would be over in the morning. Back to work. Winston tossed some remaining burnable chunks onto the smoldering pit. “So long, grandfather oak!” It was from an old,…

Malachi’s Magic Seed by Charles C Cole

Malachi’s Magic Seed Charles C Cole Mid-morning but already a scorcher, the third in a row. The root cellar, pretty much a clay igloo with a door tucked under a man-made hill, was looking inviting. Farmer Malachi Aylward had just finished soaking his garden….

A Meeting of Minds by Charles C Cole

A Meeting of Minds Charles C Cole The most dangerous profession, you say? Sailing along the edge of our flat earth. Mining in deep, near-airless tunnels not far from a clan of territorial dwarfs. Or, perhaps, like me, as psychoanalyst to the supernaturally needy,…

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

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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

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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

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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

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Vitamin Deficiency by Josh T. Keating

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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

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Prison Planet 7 by K. A. Williams

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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

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Danger Will Robinson by Phil Temples

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Klaatu Barada Nikto by Phil Temples

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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

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Interstellar Schism by Sme

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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

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Salamander Soldiers by Lauren McBride

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Turkey’s Hideout by K. A. Williams

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

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A World Created by Alyson Tait

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Ikiryō by Jeremy Akel

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The Toymaker by Jeremy Akel

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Means of Escape by J. David Harper

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It Isn’t Blackmail by K. A. Williams

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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

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Ghosts In The Machine by David Barber

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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

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The Crop by Jasmine Arch

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A Blade Remembers by Jasmine Arch

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Still Waters by Jasmine Arch

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Termination by Lee Harrison

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Hunting Bigfoot by K. A. Williams

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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

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Bus Stop 126 by David Wright

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D.P. 7 by Eric S Brown

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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

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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

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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…

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

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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 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

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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 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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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…

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