Category Archives: Fantasy

The Birds and Bees

by Ray Zacek The highland community of Ceridwen nestled beneath a V-shaped cleft in the pine-clad mountains, walled and gated and safe. Seen from afar, Ceridwen presented a beehive cluster of green tile roofs and ochre walls. An array of … Continue reading

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Gretchen: The Evil Girlfriend

Jim Davies I peeked over Eve and Dichall’s heads and watched Josh open his door to the supposed terror that his sister Morgan was so worried about. Emerson climbed atop my head to look, too. A beautiful young woman, who looked … Continue reading

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Episode 60: Eve: Boundaries

Episode 60: Eve: Boundaries Jim Davies         I jumped down to my companions, the smell of cat looming. “Back on the shelf! The cat’s coming!” I shoved Dichall toward escape, grabbed Gretchen’s paw and dragged her with … Continue reading

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Trial of the Wizard King by Chad Corrie

Trial of the Wizard King by Chad Corrie is the second book in the Wizard King series. I am reading the first two books back-to-back which is a privilege I have rarely enjoyed of the past 10+ years of writing … Continue reading

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A Nation Returns to Greatness

by Alaric DeArment The prisoners were each fastened to one of the poles, the bells rang another three times, and the crowd cheered again. The church doors opened, and a procession of 12 priests in blue cassocks emerged, led by … Continue reading

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Episode 59: Gretchen: An Unlocked Smartphone

I had been using cell phones ever since my time in Hamburg with the Rat der Mäuse. From the look on Dichall’s face I could tell that using them was fairly new to him, and Eve, being not so long … Continue reading

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Naivety’s Price

Sunar didn’t have to wait, his ‘ride’ appeared in the cargo hold moments after they walked in. They all exchanged the minimum of words, Sunar put his hand on the Wizard’s shoulder, and found himself standing in Master Ikthan’s private … Continue reading

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The Message by Jennifer Walker

The Message Jennifer Walker In the great hall of the palace of Poseidon the merpeople of Atlantis waited for their Queen to speak. To her right floated her daughter Nerissa, an unusually thick mermaid the shape of a small orca. … Continue reading

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Change of Heart

by Alaric DeArment I went back to sitting on the couch and staring at the ceiling for what felt like another hour before I heard the three come out of the office, not bothering to look behind me as they … Continue reading

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Summer Child

Sunar sat in the medbay of the ship he’d served on for the last few months and relayed the story of his run-in with Bobby Finkle, his gang, the police chief, how that led him to her door, and rounded … Continue reading

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Episode 57: Eve: A Sparrow in Human Clothing

“So. Micean Council.” The crow gestured with her beak at my red bead necklace. “I see you brought some muscle with you—a Pomeranian!” She cackled with laughter. “Go lay an egg!” Waffles barked. Dichall stood up on the dog’s back … Continue reading

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Oh, Those Entitled Dragon Riders by Ekaterina Pushnaya

Oh, Those Entitled Dragon Riders Ekaterina Pushnaya I still vividly remember how we first brought Ligery into the house. He was barely the size of a dog, and he immediately hid under the couch. If you ever owned a pet, … Continue reading

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Dragon Parleyer by K. A. Williams

Dragon Parleyer K. A. Williams “Rumor is that a dragon is terrorizing your village,” I said. “You’re not a knight, you’re not even a man. What could you do?” The elder regarded me with a scornful expression as he turned … Continue reading

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Welcome to Stagno

by Alaric DeArment From reading uncensored history books while traveling abroad, Amadeo learned that Stagno and the other merchant republics had long served as a buffer between two great powers: Lotharingia, which stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Alps … Continue reading

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Episode 56: Eve: Stowaways

I opened my eyes to see the dog with a piece of pizza crust on the floor in front of him. “Thanks, Waffles!” Gretchen jumped down and ran to the crust, then began ripping pieces for our breakfast. We stuffed … Continue reading

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Long Distance

Captain Pora Hairfoot looked at the half-dragon monk who had been such a lucrative – and entertaining – deck-hand for the last several months, and sighed. Yep, as soon as a monk starts acting a little strangely they end up … Continue reading

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Captain’s Eyes

Captain Pora Hairfoot looked up at her half-dragon deckhand and felt a frown pull at the corner of her lips as Sunar did a slow-blink when she told him that someone was going to the expense of keeping an interstellar … Continue reading

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Episode 55: Eve: Recruiting Waffles

Dichall, Gretchen and I leapt down from the high tower, safely landing in the snow. We found a gull picking through a discarded food container. Dichall held out his red bead necklace. “Hello there.” The gull pulled her head out … Continue reading

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Piece of Eight

by Alaric DeArment A thud at the door meant the paperboy was late again. I opened it and picked up the rolled-up copy of The Seattle Times, sliding the rubber band off and unfurling it on the coffee table as … Continue reading

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Episode 54: Eve: An Empty Storehouse

The growing stench of charred paper filled the air as we approached the library. We walked in to find scattered, burned pieces of paper on the floor, and a few exhausted mice trying to clean up the mess. A black … Continue reading

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Once Again

Sunar suppressed a sigh as several armed people stepped into the hallway both before and behind him. He stood there and shook his head. “This seems like a lot of trouble to go to just to rob a random spacer.” … Continue reading

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A Portal to Remember by Shauna Checkley

A Portal to Remember Shauna Checkley Staring into the dazzling display which was like Canada Day and Mardi Gras and Carnival all in one, the two strangers stood utterly transfixed! “What is th-that?” Sarah’s mouth was shaped like the letter … Continue reading

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Eve: Something Rotten at the Council

Vivian went very still. “I don’t want to go home. I want to be a big girl.” “But Miss Magnitrude is a…” How do I say this? “Well, she’s a monster. She only looks like a woman.” Vivian fussed over … Continue reading

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Amadeo’s Real Aims

by Alaric DeArment Amadeo Darsa stuck his foot in the door as I tried to slam it shut in the hope of giving myself a few seconds to run to the kitchen and grab a knife, assuming a primitive kitchen … Continue reading

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Seven Year Monsoon by H.T. Grossen

Seven Year Monsoon H.T. Grossen Margot had missed the sun. She leaned her forehead miserably against one of the few above-ground windows, staring into the tumult of writhing grey plants: ever growing to be ever crushed under the torrential downpours … Continue reading

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History repeats

Four worlds in as many weeks. I do think I signed on to the right ship if I want to see the Empire. Or, every Second Street in it, anyway. Sunar looked around himself at the street full of bars … Continue reading

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Final Justice

Dogs and timber wolves howled and bayed, after the battered Ottfly’s disappeared into the wilderness. But good spirits and joyous humor soon faded… replaced with reality. Omar strode towards Shocka Din, who, with Hanna at his side, started his way. … Continue reading

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Episode 52: Eve: Trapped Girl

Waffles slipped silently behind and then past Gombree until we were out of sight. Although the building consisted of a continuous spiral floor going all the way up, it had been divided into a series of room-like spaces, some separated … Continue reading

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Can’t Hide

Sunar sat and looked down at the glass before him while trying to blink away a slight drink-induced haze. His buddies had already won twice, betting that he could drink someone under the table. Then, while he cleared the effects … Continue reading

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Episode 51: Eve: Magnitrude

Waffles walked forward and onto the window. We all looked down (to us) which was actually sideways (to the rest of the world) at the wall of the building next door. “Well that’s disorienting.” I twisted my head to see … Continue reading

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Terms Apply by Max Christopher

Terms Apply Max Christopher I picked up this year’s free car today, regretting my decision to walk the six blocks to the dealership. Horrible biped dogs leaned in doorways, wagging their tails listlessly when a person walked by. Seeing them … Continue reading

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Episode 50:    Eve: The Twisted Tower

I frantically looked around for a place for us to escape to. There! I yanked on Waffle’s ear, and pointed at a set of panels barricading a storage area under a building. “Look!” I don’t know if Waffles could see … Continue reading

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Episode Sixteen – The Battle

Shocka Din ambled away from King Cat Sateer in deep thought, then picked up speed to a relaxed trot. Sateer says there’s dangers I can’t imagine here. This is one creepy place, but somethin’ is keepin’ me here. Should have … Continue reading

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Shore Leave

Sunar had planned to spend the day at a handful of tourist spots within the city, visit one of the local weapons shops to check out a ‘virtual target practice system’ that claimed to be an excellent way to practice … Continue reading

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Episode 10: A Familiar Face

Fragrant smoke wafted over Cole as he sat cross-legged by the crackling brushwood fire. He warmed his palms against the flames and rested his uneasy gaze on the lip of the ravine. Above, the stars turned slowly across the darkened … Continue reading

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The Ring Reclaimed by Jeffrey Greene

The Ring Reclaimed Jeffrey Greene On a rainy October evening more than twenty years ago, two hikers traveling in opposite directions on the Appalachian Trail in northern Georgia stopped for the night in one of those doorless log shelters provided … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Umbrella Tree by John C. Mannone

Umbrella Tree John C. Mannone a cleave poem  

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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. … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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?” … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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, … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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, … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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. … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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. … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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. … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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. … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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, … Continue reading

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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! … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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… … Continue reading

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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, … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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, … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Unhinged by S. Mukherjee

Unhinged S. 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?’ … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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!” … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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, … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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.” … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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. … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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, … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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? … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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, … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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, … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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, … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Episode 21: The Haunted Kindergarten

We pigeoned to the kindergarten early in the morning to beat the rush of children, but late enough to follow a teacher inside and snuck in through a door propped open by somebody on a smoke break. After making our … Continue reading

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Zero Education

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, five months after first flight; Day after Coronation The sun had started to turn gold as it waned. Sunar stood at the edge of the highest courtyard in the monastery, the one called both … Continue reading

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Persian Fairy Tales: The King and the Fisherman

Persian Fairy Tales The King and the Fisherman The countries washed by the great rivers Tigris and Euphrates were once ruled by a certain King who was passionately fond of fish. He was seated one day with Sherem, his wife, … Continue reading

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Persian Fairy Tales: The King’s Treasure

Persian Fairy Tales The King’s Treasure A laboring man named Abdul Karim, with his wife, Zeeba–”the beautiful one”–lived in a sheltered valley, surrounded by hills, the sides of which were covered with fine gardens, in which the peach, the grape, … Continue reading

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Persian Fairy Tales: The Son of the Soap Seller

Persian Fairy Tales The Son of the Soap Seller There once dwelt a poor but worthy man named Abdullah in Meshed, the Holy City, the place of pilgrimage, whose beautiful mosque with the golden dome is the glory of the … Continue reading

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Persian Fairy Tales: The Cat and the Mouse

Persian Fairy Tales The Cat and the Mouse According to the decree of Heaven, there once lived in the Persian city of Kerman, a cat like unto a dragon–a longsighted cat who hunted like a lion; a cat with fascinating … Continue reading

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Zero Challenge

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, five months after first flight; Day after Coronation Sunar made his way, without any apparent hurry, through the halls of the monastery. He took a (reasonably) direct route, the sound of his antagonist growing … Continue reading

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Episode 20: Grassblade

  I sheathed Grim’s blade, and leapt after the black faerie, running on all fours for speed, the tip of my weapon tapping the ground with every leap. Did you know that mice can reach a top speed of about … Continue reading

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Wipires by Dee Caples

Wipires Dee Caples “Don’t open the door!” Astrid hissed. I glanced over my shoulder at my girlfriend. Her mouth was still frozen in the hiss, her teeth bared. Raising one eyebrow, I turned back to the door and peeked out … Continue reading

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The Keepsaker by David Batteiger

The Keepsaker David Batteiger Emily stood tip-toe on a wobbly stool, fingertips grazing the edge of something at the back of a high, dusty shelf. Straining further, the stool tilting on two legs, she urged the object closer. Her fingers … Continue reading

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Ernest by Lyn McConchie

Ernest Lyn McConchie (First appeared in ROAR 6 anthology, (Furplanet) June 2015) Between certain worlds on a long spiral in time and space, portals open and close, usually they are static, but now and then they move a few yards … Continue reading

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Episode 19: The Pain-Eaters

We caught a ride on a gull. Gull feathers are a bit closer and tighter than pigeon feathers, and he had a little string tied around his body so we’d have something to hold onto. He dropped from the pigeon … Continue reading

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As Without

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, five months after first flight; Day after Coronation Sunar watched as Tabitha walked into the room, glanced at the datapad on the table, and rolled her eyes. He quirked a single eyebrow at her … Continue reading

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Episode 18: The Lesson

Dad drove me back from the diner, and Mom was waiting outside to pick me up. Dad lowered my window and beckoned to Mom. Mom came over, but she didn’t look like she wanted to. He leaned so she could … Continue reading

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Episode 17: Beware of the Fae

“We have a faerie in custody,” Beatrice Brownbrow addressed the Councilmice, as she did every evening at headquarters. “That’s unusual.” Gretchen muttered while scratching her ear. “We usually don’t let them live.” “He came to us, claiming he has information.” … Continue reading

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Zero Snow

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, five months after first flight; patrolling the coronation of a new Emperor. Sunar stood watch behind the crowd. The field at the base of the slopes was full of people who had come to … Continue reading

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The Parting of the White and the Black

The Parting of the White and the Black Massimo Soumaré Translated from Italian by Toshiya Kamei A heavy cloak of darkness enveloped the last meeting of the two. The distant battlefield awaited them, longing for their death. A horrible, bloody … Continue reading

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Born Zero

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, five months after first flight; on patrol awaiting the coronation of a new Emperor. Ice crunched underfoot as Sunar and his three friends made their way through the crowded streets. Vehicles had been banned … Continue reading

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Episode 16: The Acorn Trap

  I peeked past the barely-open door at a little girl sitting cross-legged on a pink bedspread, paging through a picture book. A small child like I’d seen at the campsite, who was just old enough to run around and … Continue reading

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The Martians by Demetrios Matsakis

The Martians Demetrios Matsakis It was Family Day at the Cape, which was overflowing with picnicking rocket-scientists, technicians, secretaries, and administrators. But such simple pleasures were of no concern to Kronos as he quietly gathered his work-group into the top-secret … Continue reading

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Ragnarock by David Barber

Ragnarock David Barber Rona Lal was not the oldest woman alive, but certainly the oldest with the brain she was born with. Rona no longer remembered her exact age, but the entelechy did, and arranged a surprise for her birthday. … Continue reading

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Episode 15: The Cat in the Way

A while, and a short nap, later, the human reached into the handbag. We gingerly held up her keys, and as soon as she had the slightest grip on them, we let go. I must have been breathing hard, because … Continue reading

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Cold Lesson

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, five months after first flight Snow crunched under Sunar’s boots as he landed at the edge of the skii-resort town. He drew in a deep breath through his nose, taking in the smells of … Continue reading

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Night in the City by Lyn McConchie

Night in the City Lyn McConchie It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents and in the great city no one was abroad who could have stayed in shelter. Only the poor and the unfortunate were … Continue reading

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Bath Salts and Bedlam by Lyn McConchie

Bath Salts and Bedlam Lyn McConchie Our local senior constable was here again today asking if I’d seen some missing bloke. I could have sworn he said was named Bob Jonquil. I didn’t take it the wrong way, I’d seen … Continue reading

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Charles and the Dodo by Jonathan Bowerman

Charles and the Dodo Jonathan Bowerman I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date! Charles stressed as he sat at his desk and blew on the end of his feathered fountain pen, chastising himself. “No, no. That simply will … Continue reading

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Treasure by Lyn McConchie

Treasure Lyn McConchie Joe Tremain was a man of mostly average description. He was medium height, medium build, medium colouring, medium circumstances, and middle-aged. His parents – dying young – had left him a house that had one bedroom, a … Continue reading

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Redemption by Lyn McConchie

Redemption Lyn McConchie The hillside road nearest the town had fallen, so they left Lanie’s car with the earth-movers and the vehicles of the rescue people who’d arrived earlier, and they walked, Lanie, with the massive dog at her heels. … Continue reading

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Dawn Flight

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, Summer, six weeks after first flight The cold of a summer pre-morning prickled Sunar’s skin as he sat, eyes closed, atop the gazebo at the height of the Four Peaks monastery and meditated on … Continue reading

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Episode 14: Diplomat Dichall

We heard the muffled barking of Lolabelle through the leather: “Uh, be careful, there’s a cat in the apartment who’s not the biggest fan of the Micean Council.”

We glanced at each other, not quite so comfortable anymore… Continue reading

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Naming Rites

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, Spring, five seconds after first flight Quiet. Stillness. Calm. Sunar hung suspended in the water for an eternal moment, bubbles flowing around him. The exultation of his flight still sang in his bones, but … Continue reading

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Episode 13: From Disturbing Dreams

I’m Nathan Thomas. I’m visiting Ottawa because I’m giving a concert here in a few days. I play piano. I’m not the best in the world, but I’m only nine years old, so lots of people want to see me … Continue reading

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Fortune by T.L. Simpson

Fortune T.L. Simpson Orr watched the girl, the sunkissed skin of her exposed midriff swaying as she danced, the crackling bonfire setting the sequin droplets of sweat across her brow and shoulders ablaze with amber light. “When you the kill … Continue reading

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Episode 12 When a Fae Drinks Spark

I asked various faeries where Yonya was, and eventually found her on the Interstitial manifestation of Elgin Street. She smelled me before she saw me. She turned her eyeless red head toward me slightly. “Imbingy. Speak.” “I have spark for … Continue reading

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Dawn’s Window

Winter: 16 years at the Monastery, Spring, twenty-three months after attempting to fly The soft oranges of dawn danced through the window… the window, the one he had been afraid to approach for so long. Sunar felt a smile tug … Continue reading

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Episode 11: Draining the Prodigy

Breath held so I was invisible, I glided down from my perch on the big painting in the hotel lobby, landing on the side of the shopping bag the mother carried. I folded my wings, changed my colour to match … Continue reading

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Fear’s Lesson

Winter: 15 years at the Monastery, Summer, fourteen months after attempting to fly “No.” Sunar shook his head and backed away from the two chairs. Gorshun pushed him forward. “Yes!” replied Gorshun in an exasperated tone, “You are more than … Continue reading

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Forecast by Pete Alex Harris

Forecast Pete Alex Harris “And now the shipping forecast, issued by the Met Office on behalf of the Maritime and Thaumometry Agency at 12 pm today.” Lighthouse-master Carson fiddled with the crackling radio, trying to get a clearer signal. It … Continue reading

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Wing Training

Summer: 14 years at the Monastery, Summer, seven months after attempting to fly Sunar shook his head at his best friend. “I am not ready for the chair test yet, that much I’m sure of.” Gorshun rolled his eyes, and … Continue reading

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Episode 10: Finding the Prodigy

I folded my faerie wings and hid under the little girl’s pillow until I could hear her sleeping. Then, I crawled out onto her chest and drained her spark. Yeah, I know, I’m the stuff of nightmares. Draining spark feels … Continue reading

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Oaths by Salvador J. Ojeda

Oaths Salvador J. Ojeda Avor Antos stared at the envelope given to him by Commander Briav, nearly crumpled against his chest. It had the border and seal of a discharge that was neither honorable nor standard. “Commander, you can’t be … Continue reading

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Fear’s Hold

Summer: 14 years at the Monastery, Spring, four months after attempting to fly Water cascaded down the not-quite vertical face of the Babbling Wall. Sunar’s stomach clenched almost painfully as he stood in one of his favorite spots; on the … Continue reading

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Episode 9: The Mission Before the Mouse

I needed to get the monster down from the wall. It panted, licking the wound on one of its arms – thinking it was safe. It was our job to make sure it wasn’t. Glancing around, I spotted some straws … Continue reading

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Fear’s Caution

Summer: 14 years at the Monastery, Spring, two months after attempting to fly Sunar leaned over the windowsill from which he’d attempted to jump two months and a lifetime before. A strong breeze wafted through the window. Warm, but with … Continue reading

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Episode 8: Bogoloblin

Each of us held onto Reginald’s feathers with all four paws. The crow’s route was indirect, according to the emphatic directions that Dell Grim shouted, and Reginald ignored. The fearless bird carried us low into rush-hour traffic, weaving erratically between … Continue reading

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Doppelganger in the Loop by Gary Inbinder

Doppelganger in the Loop Gary Inbinder I Paul sat on a weather-beaten wooden bench in the middle of the platform. He glanced at his wristwatch; it was a quarter to six in the morning. Dull, yellowish electric bulbs glowed eerily … Continue reading

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Baba Yaga retold by Ed Ahern

This is a substantial retelling of a tale from an undated book printed in the 1800’s, “Old Peter’s Russian Tales” by Arthur Ransome Baba Yaga As retold by Ed Ahern Baba Yaga is a witch with iron teeth like poker … Continue reading

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Episode 7: Reginald Crazywing

    We went out onto the nearest ledge to hail a bird, but there were already several mice in line at the pigeon stand. One mouse shivered beneath his black, speckled coat. “We’re freezing our whiskers off out here!” … Continue reading

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Teacher’s Price

Summer: 14 years at the Monestary, Spring, the day after attempting to fly Master Ikthan stood in the bedroom doorway, his cold disapproval smothering what warmth Sunar and his friends had felt. The other boys gave Sunar quick glances of … Continue reading

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Episode 6: Gearing Up

Beatrice Brownbrow dropped to all fours and wiggled through a hole into another passage. She poked her head back through and blinked. “This way!” I took her paw, squeezed through onto the top of a pipe, and, as I scurried … Continue reading

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Titanic Bonds

Sunar talked with his sister for some time. For the most part he let her ramble. She had been bottling a lot of emotion while he had been unconscious, so he provided her a sounding board and let her get … Continue reading

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Misdirection in Oz by Herb Kauderer

Misdirection in Oz Herb Kauderer The Tin Woodsman used his newly received brain to remember all the many citizens of Oz who passed him by while he was rusted still in the fields. But the unsolved serial killings didn’t begin … Continue reading

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Episode 5: The Micean Council

  The guards removed a wine cork from the outer wall, revealing a narrow hole. Dell motioned with his arm. “After you.” We crawled inside, and the guards replaced the cork, leaving us in warm, dark quiet. Snowflakes scattered from … Continue reading

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Sister’s Confidence

Summer: 14 years at the Monastery, Spring, the day after attempting to fly Sunar woke slowly, despite his best efforts. He tried to bring his mind to alertness, but found himself groggy. He lay on his stomach, and everything hurt. … Continue reading

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Episode 4: They Sent an Owl

I woke from a months-long sleep in my tunnels to the sound of something large landing on the surface above me. I swiveled my ears and detected something much smaller landing near it. A muffled voice: “Eve? Eve Pixiedrowner? Are … Continue reading

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Mother’s Word

Mother’s Word Summer: 14 and a half years at the Monastery Sunar sat with his head against the wall and tried to process the pain. It felt like every muscle in his back, wings, and chest had caught fire. He … Continue reading

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Winner Winner by David Castlewitz

Winner Winner by David Castlewitz Dinner with the star of Madam Murder didn’t meet Tony Pink’s expectations. When he complained to the director, he got back a long stare followed by a mild chuckle. “She’s not real, you know. She’s … Continue reading

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The Day

Summer: 14 and a half years at the Monastery Sunar started awake, but managed to feign continued sleep. It only took a moment for him to find what he’d heard: his sister’s breathing. “How did you get in here without … Continue reading

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Child’s Tail

Monastery: 14 years since Sunar’s arrival Sunar and three of his friends wandered through the monastery’s hallways, headed no where in particular, enjoying a few hours of free time between summer lessons. They were keeping a small, sand-filled ball in … Continue reading

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The Campground Faerie

Video Reading Lots of people fantasize about having a home in the woods, living off the land, close to nature. I actually get to do it. I live in a small hole, close to a human campsite, in Gatineau park, … Continue reading

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A Name

Sunar did not know how long he sat crying. He let everything wash away in the flood of tears; the pain, the childish ideals, and, finally, the pride. It seemed an eternity before the it stopped. He felt tired, as … Continue reading

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Dawn Tree

Sunar allowed his gaze to wander as he sat in meditation. The valley between the four peaks in shadow behind him, the plains leading to the mountain spread out before him, and Master Ikthan sat next to him. He’d tried … Continue reading

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Ending Denial

Sunar carried the breakfast tray into his parent’s room. He had to contain his excitement in order to keep from spilling the orange juice. Today. Today, his sister would be born. Today, he would show them all. She would be … Continue reading

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Satyrday Night Special by Diana Davis

Satyrday Night Special Diana Davis     “Read `em and weep!” The deuce went into the discard pile. “Full house, with three gods and two towers.”       I sent a silent thanks to Tyche, the goddess of luck. She’s been … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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