Consequences

The still, cold night was momentarily disturbed by the sounds of bare feet slapping against damp leaves on asphalt, and hands and uncovered knees scrambling over moss-laden car bodies, until the only sound was a labored breathing that gradually eased. After a few minutes the world seemed like it had rolled over and gone back… Continue reading Consequences

Mysterious Ways

Shetesh stood just behind the Diviness Hava, the two of them inversions of the many stalactites hanging threateningly above them. The holy river that ran through the cavern below was aflame. The particulates in the smoke cast staticky shadows on the rough golden walls. "What does it mean?" Hava asked her attendant. Shetesh grinned and… Continue reading Mysterious Ways

Not My Circus

The first and most obvious sign of trouble was the trees. The trunks were charred black from the ground up to three meters, above which the bark appeared normal in every way, forming a strict border. Valentine spun in a circle. The whole forest was like that, burnt below three meters, straight and flat as… Continue reading Not My Circus

Lexicon

Paa set up her shop on a dusty road an hour's ride from the spaceport at Ibreseem. It was a little difficult to get to, and that was the point. Tourists thought it was authentic. The 61 Virginis tourism board had cultivated and maintained a rich mythology for centuries—a fabricated mythology to be sure, but… Continue reading Lexicon

The Oracle Sisters

The Oracle Sisters sat quietly before the slate hearth in their keep, Auber lost in her ever-expanding patchwork quilt while her twin, Illian, idly counted her own salty tears as she stared out the window. Vioria had passed only the day before yesterday. The Oracle Sisters were triplets no more. Without speech or sign or… Continue reading The Oracle Sisters

One Way or Another

There was only a modest breeze in the salty air, the Arrow of St. Karesh swaying gently in its moorings as Vennari stood alone on its deck, sullenly watching the night knit the sea to the sky until the two were seamless. There would be no moon tonight, nor stars to judge her deeds. Only a… Continue reading One Way or Another

No Safe Haven

"What was that thing?" Becca asked, her breathlessness preventing the sobs she knew were coming. "Who cares? We need to get out of here, now." Grant pulled at her elbow and before she knew it her legs were flying beneath her as she swatted away brambles and damp leafy branches in the sickly light of… Continue reading No Safe Haven

Phantasma Non Grata

He introduced himself as Dade, but Margaret didn't really believe that was his name. She couldn't put her finger on what it was—he was polite, soft-spoken, and handsome in a boyish way—but she didn't trust him in the least, and now she rather wanted to return to the picnic. She never should have wondered off.… Continue reading Phantasma Non Grata

Shark

For a pool shark, Logan didn't have to work very hard on his hustle; he was naturally terrible. He had no feel for where to hit the cue ball: left English, squirt right, follow, draw, stop—it was all gibberish to him. He was just happy to keep the ball from flying off the table. But,… Continue reading Shark

Mapmaker

Tenley looked through her spyglass at the edge of the world. The ocean spilled over in a waterfall that stretched from north to south as far as her strained eyes could see. The sails were already down, but pretty soon they'd have to paddle their great ship against the current to keep from going over… Continue reading Mapmaker