I could feel it, shifting around in my chest, as I waited for the on-call doctor to respond. The doctor’s badge indicated that he didn’t have one, so I didn’t think he would understand, but as I began to speak, to describe what had been happening to me over the past few weeks, his questions and observations revealed that he understood quite well. And he came to this conclusion.
We are not deserters. We are not thieves. But we have been named as such by the imperial navy. We are hunted by the ships we once called our allies. The empress gave our captain a precious treasure as a gift. It was but a gesture. In truth, the treasure belongs to the empire, as all things do. Our captain has taken it.
If we break the mirror barrier, we would have even greater control over the transformations between matter and energy than ever before. For this knowledge, we humbly ask our new friends from beyond the known stars.
The only worthy god is a fallen god. Because a fallen god must walk the mortal path. Only a fallen god can be stung by nettles, or lashed by biting winds, or blistered by fire, or embraced by the love of a stranger.Continue reading
Joanie loved her gramps, but she most certainly did not love clowns. Still, as she sat against the wall of the playroom that her grandfather had made for her, she held onto the little clown doll with the dark fuzzy hair at the sides of his head, the tiny purple hat on his bald head, the blue shirt, and the red pants, and the ever-smiling face.
Some years—not every year—fierce winds blow from the north, and the old folk mutter about the ride of the indestructible king. And they cast about their narrow-eyed glances at those who might have summoned such winds, by taking something they shouldn’t have.
The baker and the blacksmith were gathered around the inn’s fireplace on a frozen blustery night. The fire was roaring and the wooden pillars from which the inn was built were stout and sturdy. Yet with every patron who entered, a sweep of snow and a shock of chill air barged in. It was late, and most patrons had retired to their rooms. But some remained in the common room, finishing the last of their hot mead or a late meal. Or hoping that the innkeeper would overlook it if they fell asleep by the hearty fire instead of retiring to their frosty chambers.Continue reading
Betty Garimonde wasn’t dead. Mars could see the slight rise and fall of her chest as she breathed. Her body was so frail that when he lifted it, it felt as if all her substance were gone, and he was only lifting her skin and her bones. The light, not just sunlight, but even the light of the torches, seared her skin, so that Mars had to keep her covered from head to toe with a cloth. She looked even more so like a corpse when he did. Maybe she was close to being one. So there was nothing to lose now.Continue reading