They Stand. They Watch. They Wait.

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Digital drawing. The silhouette of a person facing forward stands at center with arms to the side. The eyes glow with the color of the sunny halo behind the figure’s head and torso. The figure stands on ground that is cast in dark shadows. The ground fills the bottom fourth of the image. Scarce shrubbery is visible to the left of frame. A bush or small tree is visible at the right of frame. All in shadow. The sky fills the top three-quarters of the image and is streaked with sunset colors.

“What would happen if I accidentally looked at one of them?” Adira asked.  “Or if I spoke by reflex, before I could stop myself?”

She was the passenger.  With a sudden swerve, the driver pulled aside.  Ignoring the horn of the car that just missed side-swiping them, he gripped the wheel.  His shoulders heaved in a single breath.

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The Shadow of Victoria Lockhart

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Digital drawing. Silhouette of a figure in a dress with bell sleeves and a hoop skirt, holding up a parasol in the right hand, with a gauzy veil flowing to the right. Bright light shines from above and behind the figure. Extending below the figure is what appears to be a shadow. Leafy, bushy foliage frames the top half of the image, extending down either side of the frame into dark shadowy patches in the foreground and hazy patches in the background. The image appears to be right side up, but would still be so if it were flipped vertically.

Victoria Lockhart, like many of those in both the cast and crew of her feature film debut, had heard about their director.  His genius.  And his…moods.  That’s what they were called back then.  Moods.  And only directors were allowed to have them.   She’d been so excited on her first day.  Even after she saw him throw a chair at one of the writers.  Even after she’d seen him take a swing at the cinematographer.  Even after she’d heard him say things to his assistant in front of everyone that made the woman crumple at his feet in tears.  Victoria told herself that she would never trigger his ire.  She would make him adore her, respect her, and treat her as gently as he treated that favorite suede jacket of his. 

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Angel at the Carnival

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Digital drawing. Two figures at center. Left, a toddler boy wearing overalls with a patch at the chest bearing an image of the hand-horns sign. The boy’s right hand is outstretched and is conjuring a cloud of cotton candy. His other arm is bent at his side. Right, an animal that appears to be half-dog and half-fish. The dog-like body is sitting up. The fish-like head is turned to the side with mouth open, displaying piranha teeth and a pointy outstretched tongue. The creature’s eyes are red. It has a long tail bearing fins, ending in a caudal fin. The creature wears a studded collar with a tag that reads “Angel.” Behind them is the hazy shape of a Ferris wheel with glowing lights.

“I know what it looks like to most, but he’s actually quite friendly.”

The woman named Irina laughed and tipped her head toward the toddler picking dehydrated marshmallows out of his cereal.  “I could say the same for him.”

She glanced down at Angel, who lowered his head and kept his mouth closed, trying to appear as harmless as was possible for him.  Angel was born of a dog, but he was…different. 

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The Forest of the Dasollagi

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“Wait until you are within the borders of the forest before you open the box, else you have failed before you have begun.”

With those words, the schoolmaster turned away and left Naji alone before the borders of the forest.

Naji entered the forest with no other possessions but that box, as the test required.  He carried no water, no food, no clothing but what he already wore, no bedroll, nothing to trade or barter with.

But that is what he had chosen.  A box.

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The Purple Dust Mine

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Do you see him? Right there, between Mig and John? As if he’s part of the crew?

Nico drove up to the mouth of the cave. He got out of the truck and walked around to the other side. Normally, the young retriever would have hopped out of the open door in a rush. But Ruby lay there, still sleeping. Continue reading

The Guardians of Gorgulya

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quill-191-guardians-of-gorgulya-image-1-final“This is what it looks like,” Sig said, handing over the page where he had drawn a picture of the flower he wanted the scouting party—the children—to find.  He wanted to go himself, to search for the flower, to seek help in a nearby town, but he had to stay where he was needed.  “There may not be many,” he warned, “this close to winter.” Continue reading

Where Is Speed’s Shadow?

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Where Is Speed's Shadow?Lucy anxiously watched Lady Umbersmith set down her cup of tea and scan her guests, the three detectives and then finally Lucy herself.  The elderly matron began to speak, her gaze resting on Lucy.

“When a person dies and her soul leaves her body right away, the body remains, just a husk.  But while the person lives, the body and soul are linked, entwined, and inseparable.  What happens to one happens to the other.  If the soul is attacked, the body too feels the effect.  It becomes incorporeal, intangible, insensible, silent, invisible. Continue reading