• At Black Gate: "Vestments of Pestilence" by John C. Hocking. Fantasy.
"The newcomer was bareheaded and wore a long gray cloak of elegant design. He let it fall open as he approached and we saw he wore the cuirass of an officer in the royal guard of the house of Flavius. His hair was black and cropped close to his narrow skull, his face high cheek-boned and stern, with darkly probing eyes. He looked like someone well used to telling others what to do and I had the dismal feeling he was about to live up to his appearance."
At Aurora Wolf:
• "Make a Wish" by Edward Ahern.
"George, named for his father and grandfather, and Anaea, named for a butterfly, fidgeted at their desks. Anaea’s nickname was Nea. George had no nickname except for the secret one that Nea called him."
• "The Path of the Sun" by Lillian Csernica.
"Tabor stood atop the cliff looking out across the sea. The cold breeze cut through his homespun shirt and pants and ruffled his brown hair. Sunset, falling on the sea in a wide path of shining gold. The path started in the breakers tumbling across the sand and stretched all the way to the horizon. Where did it go?"
• At L5R: "Face the Madness, Part 3" by Shawn Carman & Seth Mason. Fantasy Rokugan.
"Moto Dairei licked his lips and tried not to think about the water that was still on the bottle at his hip. He had taken a drink only a few moments ago and, in the part of his mind that could think about such things clearly and reasonably, he understood that he was not really thirsty again. It was merely the image of the vast wasteland before him, the Western Wastes, his people had once called it, that tricked his mind into thinking that he was dying of thirst" Conclusion.
• At Weird Fiction Review: "The Divinity Student: Part Seven" by Michael Cisco.
"The Divinity Student scowls through the window at a metallic sky turning cobalt-colored at the end of the day, strange high clouds moving fast. Behind him, Miss Woodwind is measuring his notebook on the scale, her neat hands setting weights with care on the balance. She comes out from behind her card table, moving toward him, holding the book in front of her and stabbing at him with it."
- At Beware the Hairy Mango: "Easy Bake Lovin’" by Matthew Sanborn Smith. Audio. Weird Fiction.
- At Chilling Tales for Dark Nights: "ASMR" Horror. Audio.
- At Daily Science Fiction: "Worldbuilding" by Alex Shvartsman.
- At Every Day Fiction: "Croak Tree" by Matt Athanasiou. Horror.
- At Flashes in the Dark: "Siobhan" by Jim Mountfield. Horror.
- At Quantum Muse: "Pipes" by Harris Tobias.
- At 365 Tomorrows: "After" by Ryan C. Science Fiction.
• At Author's Site: "Bones are White #12: Hero" by Scott Sigler. Science Fiction
"This week’s tale comes from the GFL era of the Siglerverse, but a deeper, darker, more dangerous corner. If the victors write the history books, this is a story about what happens when history’s losers learn their own off-book version of things."
• At Beam Me Up: "Part 3 of Dave" by Dean Gills.Science Fiction.
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• At Clarkesworld: "First Principle" by Nancy Kress, read by Kate Baker. Science Fiction.
"He was even bigger than I expected. All three of them were. Barb and I watched on the link screen as they waited for the transport bay to pressurize, as they climbed out of the rover. Dr. Langley, in his rotation as council leader, made a welcome speech. The parents managed exhausted smiles, but the boy scowled."
• At Toasted Cake: "Curse" by Samantha Henderson.
"Her son was a year grown when the dream started. Always it began in the pantry, at first — she was tallying the beer, or the bags of grain, when the first joints of her fingers started to itch. Little more than a prickling warmth, then a fierce burning, and as she twisted and scratched them for relief they sprouted fur, some gray, some brown."