The Galvanic Ghost

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I am only a student.  That’s why she came to me, trusting that I would have a sufficient balance of knowledge and naiveté to serve her desperate need.

And I am woman.  That’s why she came to me, trusting that I would not mark her concerns as mere hysterics.

What was this strange and destructive condition she bore?  She spoke of hurting her husband and fleeing from her children so that she would never hurt them.  She spoke of being pursued by authorities in dark garb. Continue reading

All the Mirrors Are Broken

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“Do you have any missing art supplies?”

The woman standing in the open doorway, still blocking my entrance, blinked at me and said, “What?”

“Art supplies.  Especially high-end supplies.  Maybe some fancy imported ink.  That kind of thing.”

Her gaze dropped briefly—to take in my apparel, I’m guessing—and then she smiled at me, or at least, her mouth smiled at me.

“I’m sorry, Miss, uh—“

“Diamond.”  My mouth also smiled at her. Continue reading

The Solar Pepper

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They say he did it because he asked to sit by an innkeeper’s fire one night and was denied with a lie.  The innkeeper said that there was “not enough fire” to warm the man who was dressed in rags and filth.  He appeared to be a beggar, but he was not a beggar.  He was a warlock.  And he was none too pleased by the innkeeper’s response.  It was no surprise that he should cast a curse.  What was surprising was that he did not just cast the curse on the innkeeper himself, but on the innkeeper’s entire country. Continue reading

The Mystery of Mrs. Highweather

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For generations, for nearly a century, the Rofotou family had been gathering the pieces of a puzzle that they believed would unlock some grand secret of the universe, or some extravagant treasure, or at least some profound piece of wisdom.  But I didn’t know anything about that before a dark-haired woman named Red came knocking on my door one day.  I didn’t know why she asked to see my old dream logs.  And I certainly didn’t know what any of it had to do with Mrs. Highweather. Continue reading

Astral Andie is Angry

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“How long has it been…since I closed my eyes?” I asked.

The medical technician sitting beside my cot offered me a business-like smile and said, “Just about thirty-seven minutes.”

I frowned.  It had felt longer to me.  Almost two hours.  I had a crick in my neck.  The cot wasn’t very comfortable.  They didn’t want me to accidentally fall asleep.  I sat up and swung my legs around so I was sitting at the edge of the cot. Continue reading

The Cavern Traveler

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“Is there such a thing as hallucinogenic moss?”

Seyyal raised her brows as she asked the question, and watched her cousin’s fork freeze in mid-air.  They were having their usual monthly brunch and catching up with each other.  And Seyyal had already somewhat updated Yalanda about the subject that had been occupying her mind since she’d gotten back from vacation, her left foot. Continue reading

Letter From Self

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Three major things will happen to me over the course of the coming year.  I’ll meet someone.  I’ll think he’s wonderful.  He won’t be.  That’s the first thing.  Second, I’ll break my arm in a cowardly attempt to flee from my own responsibilities.  And third, I’ll serve on the crew of the most extravagant ship to ever sail the nine seas, the Glorious.

How do I know these things will happen?

Because I told myself they would in a letter…a letter that was meant for a future me two years from now, and somehow ended up being delivered to the current me.

*** Continue reading

A Handbook of Universal Truths

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I glanced at the clean white bandage wrapped around her left hand and a good ways down her wrist.

“It’s going to be all right,” I said.  “I’m here to help.”

The steely-eyed woman sitting across from me in the booth gave a single nod.  She wasted no time on small talk and launched straight into her first question.

“The Axiom Enchiridion, ever heard of it?” Continue reading