Guild of the Sleeping Thieves

“Do you know why they call it ‘falling asleep?’” the grandmother asked, as she lay the bedcover over her grandchild’s shoulders.

The girl, of course, shook her head.

The grandmother smiled and cast her eyes down. “Because the realm of sleep lies below our feet.” She raised her eyes up and met her grandchild’s wide open gaze. “And because our minds still have not learned how to control our descent into sleep. We begin to drift, and then, we fall.”

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The Ghost Dogs of Rambleton

In the dim dusky light, a phantom parakeet winged past overhead. Stella smiled and took a deep breath in, hugging the bag in her arms, comforted by its heat. She’d only been home since that morning, back home for the holidays after her first year of college. And while it wasn’t common to see them during the daylight hours, Stella had looked for them. That parakeet was the first ghost she’d seen in a year, and it brought a flood of relief, and a cozy warm feeling.

Now she knew she really was home.

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The Numinous Teapot

“Stick your finger in it,” Rumina said, setting the yellow teapot before her daughter and opening the lid.

Nandini glanced at her mother and her brows slowly stretched up.

Rumina gestured to the pot, and the girl leaned over to look inside. It was filled with water.

“Is that water? Or acid or something?”

Rumina sighed. “Nandi…”

Her daughter chuckled. “Just kidding.” She stuck her index finger in the water and pulled it out again.

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The Rise of Aurora Sung

“We can study the biology all day long, down to the cells, down to her entire genome. But from what I can tell, we’ll never get to the bottom of it that way.” Mira dropped the file on the table with a sigh. “This ability is not biological.”

“So you’re calling it an ability? Not a condition?”

Though Mira had been working for the Agency long enough to have seen plenty that was fantastical herself, she was always surprised and skeptical when she encountered something new.

And the tale of the rising girl was something new.

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The Vaulted Arrow

My arrow is lodged in the assassin’s heart. But she is not dead.

She will not die until I die.

And despite her cold and bold words declaring that she did not fear death, I caught a stray thought whipping across her eyes.

I don’t want to die, said that thought.

“You don’t have to,” said my voice.

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Black Lipstick Chain Moth

“Dumb thing to say at this juncture, but…are you sure about this?”

I inhaled deeply and I didn’t quite smile at him. The lens was mounted. The threads woven over it in obscuring patterns. Blacker than black silken threads. Like in the legends. Like in the procedure.

Our fellow living organisms have amazing attributes, stuff we couldn’t imagine, even with our powerful brains, and our robust sense of imagination. Pistol shrimps. Venus fly traps. Flowers with the faces of monkeys.

Moths who extrude strands of other worlds into ours.

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Storyfeather Year Ten

Happy Birthday, Storyfeather! Year Ten has concluded. As always, thank you to everyone who read even a single story. Thank you to everyone who liked or commented. Thank you for your time and interest, and for being a part of Storyfeather, especially Year Ten.

This was the Year of Fusion. I assigned a theme to every month, like ships to September and creatures to January. And came up with matching nicknames for my own amusement (e.g., Shiptember and Beastuary). This theme served as the base element for that month’s stories. I combined this base element with a fusion element, some randomly chosen object, concept, character, or so on. And I put it all into the Fiction Fusion Reactor to see what kind of exotic fictional particles would fly forth.

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