Joe Avery’s Early Client by Charles C Cole

Joe Avery’s Early Client Charles C Cole I arrived at my office in the early morning. I stepped out of the elevator into an empty hallway. The peace and quiet wouldn’t last, but it was a nice way to start the day. An unexpected…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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,…

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 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…

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…

I Like Martian Music by Charles E. Fritch

The Chimes by Charles Dickens

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

A Tale Worth Telling by Charles Gramlich

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

Hunted Down by Charles Dickens

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

Far Beyond Home by Charles A. Gramlich

Far Beyond Home Charles A. Gramlich The eye fills with black that speaks oblivion. The sun is a reckless thought, or perhaps some exotic dream. Has there ever been light, except that which you carry with you? Has there ever been a whole world…

Kissed by Charles A. Gramlich

Kissed Charles A. Gramlich In the dry wend of a lost river, sotted with visions, I lie peyote-kissed. This world is bejeweled, texture rich, full of strange harmonics. A congress of cacti filibuster the owls. Siroccos play a threnody with dust and skulls. I…

They Burn by Charles A. Gramlich

They Burn Charles A. Gramlich In the lives of stars, thoughts are forever, never in a hurry. Time is constant luxury. In the measure of planets who only fear the sun, life is a great waltz, slow and majestic. In the world of mountains,…

Peel by Charles A. Gramlich

Peel Charles A. Gramlich Peel back the hollow and reveal the core. Show the wounded heart behind the savaged ribs. Let the shudder of angels pass through you. Let it sing like dark gods born out of stone. You will walk through the burn….

Offerings by Charles A. Gramlich

Offerings Charles A. Gramlich Beneath a locust sun, where memories stab like the fingernails of a harlequin witch… he offers his hand to the crimson lips… that shine in his eyes, the bloom whose petals rest on his tongue in a sacrament of need….

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 not do. If you…