illustration from "The Talisman’s Trinket" by P.C. Hodgell.
@AEG: "Two Quiet Days" by Rusty Priske.
Tanari reached for his stick, propped up next to his simple cot, and used it to pull himself to his feet. He tried to ignore the screaming in his knees and back, but each day they got a little louder and harder to push into the background. Even his hands, which still remembered the feeling of wrapping around a bow and drawing the string back, were swollen at the knuckles and he had to make an effort to hold the walking stick.@Baen Books: "The Talisman’s Trinket" by P.C. Hodgell.
"It’s the end of apprenticeship for Patch, young thief in the making and Kencyrath series protagonist Jame’s protégé, as she defends herself and her family on a night of murderous guild riots and tectonic shifts in political power within a city built on magic. A riveting stand-alone fantasy filled with walking gods and thief magic—all set in P.C. Hodgell's wondrous world of the Kencyrath series"@Fantasy Magazine: "Unnatural Disaster" by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
"Horizontal rain, darkness, and a nearly empty beach. Jaclyn Tadero trudged through the thick wet sand, listening to the ocean’s waves crash beside her. The Coast Guard helicopter flew overhead."@Phillipine Genre Stories: "Freeborn in the City of Fallacies" by Andrew Drilon.
Valle Paradox: where shamed academics live on in feudal chaos, debating their flawed theories ad naseum, casting misshapen temporalgorithms into the cubic ether and warping actuality with every barbed, non-canonical entry into the world’s spatialgebra.@Lightspeed: "Against Eternity" by David Farland.
"The wan gray of polluted skies will weigh on your soul, and you will recall bluer days, and wish for your childhood, when the grass seemed taller and would rub your inner thighs as you rambled through the fields."
@Ray Gun Revival: "The Final Meeting of the Truth Society" by Matthew Acheson.
"When I left my parent’s house that night, I remember looking out across the water and seeing that the setting sun had turned the sky a brilliant shade of crimson. It was a short walk down a dirt road to the Fairlee post office, and when I arrived there was a tall man with dark hair and wide shoulders waiting for me. His name was Stephen Robinson, and he was my oldest and dearest of friends."
Now Posted Innsmouth Magazine #8.
"Graffito Flow" by W. H. Pugmire.
"Silver moonshine filtered through the mist of dusk. Lifting her eyes to heaven, a blind woman sang to darkness. Autumn wind brushed against her lank hair and moaned softly at chapped red ears. She listened to the sound and whispered an accompaniment as the breeze embraced her like a friend who kisses throat with chilly fondness. Night and wind and invisible moon were her ancient friends; they would not mock or mar as others had…""And Out Came Words of Fire" by Paul Jessup.
"At first, I thought they were burns – like some form of branding. Bruises along her skin, raised under the flesh. She was barely married – I could see her hair was tied in the traditional newlywed knots, which swung in a pendulum arc around her head as she stumbled along the stone steps to the Temple of Saxis""We Are All Ghosts" by Peter Darbyshire.
This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but with the silence of the grave. I don’t bother testing the walls of the tomb you’ve buried me in. I know there’s no way out. After all, you built it to contain not only me, but what’s inside me. I cannot escape. We cannot escape."We Can Watch the White Doves Go" by T.J. McIntyre.
The view from the top of the cliff revealed miles of unobstructed Alabama countryside. The river below stretched on and on, a glowing yellow snake lit by the waning sun. It slithered between rolling hills and square plots of farmland. Smitty imagined that if he looked hard enough, he might be able to see where the river met the Gulf of Mexico four hundred miles to the south, but it was only a matter of time…"The Second Sphinx" by Rebecca Stefoff.
"A month before I was to leave for Egypt with Napoleon’s army, the Comte d’Erlette asked me to call on him. “My son, you do not have to go,” my mother said to me three times, but I was more than willing. It was past time for a reckoning with the Comte. I would demand an accounting and swear to repay all that he had spent on us."
"Curvature of the Witch House" by Wendy N. Wagner.
"The crows! The caw, gaw, gaaaw all day and into the twilight. As if they know they can stop my work. Lousy devils, snapping their beaks every time I step outside to chase them away. Shuffling on their feet of three claws."Now Posted: Lorelei Signal - Oct - Dec '11 Issue
"The Comfort of Wood" by J.C. Hart.
A woman is forced into a noble marriage because of her gift of magic. But she finds that gift manipulated in ways she never wanted. Will she ever be able to escape the prison she finds herself in and once again find The Comfort of Wood."Firstborn" by Karen L. Kobylarz.
A Queen of Egypt in hiding from her husband. A mother still grieving the loss of a"Haunted" by Finale Doshi-Velez.
son. A woman accused of desecrating the Tombs of Eternity. In saving the son of
another mother, another son will be lost.
The victim of an accident, Amanda finds herself haunting her friend and neighbor"Her Ladyship, the Dragon" by Edgar Mason.
and the person who was responsible for her death. The pain she causes her friend,
is almost as bad as the pain it is causing her. All she wants is to find her rest and
let her friend live in peace - but she doesn't know how.
A young woman is cursed by her stepmother to become a dragon. Even after the"The Prize" by V. Anne Arden.
curse is broken - she still finds she has still become a dragon.
A gladiator learns that sometimes the most important prize isn't just surviving."The Queen is Not Amused" by Ken Goldman,
Fizzbain is the favorite jester of the Queen and more than any he knows the cost"The Weaver of Linlea" by Lauren Bailey Fawcett.
of her displeasure. When a young danced displeases the queen and is thrown into
the dungeon he looks for a way to save her. Unfortunately, a trick he learned from
a wizard backfires and he finds himself as the Queen's favorite in another way. Will
he be able to save the dancer and his own head from the Queen's displeasure
when she finds out how he tricked her.
A young storyteller hides a secret about her past - not only to protect herself, butNow Posted: Lovecraft eZine - Issue #7
others she has never ever met. Her secret is threatened when the Prince becomes
ill and his fiancé believes the storyteller can save him. Will she reveal her past to
save a man she loves but can never have, or will protecting the nameless others be
"Sky Full of Fire" by Corinna Sara Bechko.
"I think it started the day the house fell down. I came home and there it lay, nothing but jagged crossbeams inclosing sad triangles of empty space. The detritus of a lifetime. A lot of broken things that meant nothing. That meant everything""The Lord of Endings" by John R. Fultz.
"I found the old hermit sitting like a stone in the desert. His skin was grey as granite, pitted by the timeless winds. His ramshackle hut stood between two boulders deep into the great, dry plain where the pale-skinned invaders never go""Loaners" by Aaron Polson.
"Mariana lay with her head off the edge of the bed, hair dangling nearly to the floor, and imagined how much cocaine she could buy with twenty-thousand dollars. ""The Prophecy of Zarah" by Jenne Kaivo.
"My translation team has sought to convey the most exact meaning, while still retaining some of the poetic flow of the original.""The Stranger From Out of Town" by John Prescott.
"The house was paid for, but it was devoid of life, and the thought of staying in that empty house sent chills through his body. The house was a two-story contemporary, well-built and worth a lot of money. It faced the west on Carpey Lake and had the traditional pier, two-car garage, and a wrap-around porch."
@Author's Site: "The Journals of Doctor Mormeck’s Avatar–Entry #16" by Jeff VanderMeer.
"For a millisecond I froze. In another millisecond I had morphed back into a full-sized komodo spasming and thrashing as if my attacker were riding my back."@Author's Site: "The Journals of Doctor Mormeck (Mountain)–Entry #22" by Jeff VanderMeer.
"Gabriel came down like a colossus in flames—smashing through the roof of the library where my avatar sat reading love poems, his wings ablaze and the look upon his face hideous."
@Lightspeed: "Against Eternity" by David Farland, read by Stephan Rudnicki.