The Questioning Bell – Jason Baltazar

Enoch woke to the murmuring of window glass against the crown of his head. Outside, the approaching bellcart signaled a new morning, each heavy peal humming through the windowpane. As he’d done on every morning since Barícolé’s curse fell upon the city, he first looked to the window on the opposite side of the street. Dark and empty, it brought a familiar worry about Galvea. They’d been friends all their lives. He couldn’t remember a…

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The Early History of the Moon – Karolina Fedyk

Warsaw, 1812 Before Warsaw, I had spent days inventing myself as a pianist. Tailoring my biography, imagining what could happen in my possible lives. Love, perhaps, there was place for love; politics even, for it seemed inevitable. Betraying my kin—and then death—came merely as consequences. # The evening is cold: autumn has taken hold over us already. The train rolls into its final station, accompanied by a grinding screech and thick puffs of steam. People…

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Ways to Face the Firing Squad – Anna Zumbro

Pleadingly Marshall’s innocent. There’s been looting and worse everywhere since the missiles hit, but he’s taken nothing except a jacket he found in an abandoned car. It’s not honor that keeps him from stealing, he’s just scared he’ll screw it up, and then what will Dad say? The man breathed anger even before the day the sky burst into flames, the day Mom didn’t come home. Dad doesn’t yell any more, but Marshall knows the…

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Heartwood – L. Chan

The sorcerer wove his beloved out of the finest silks and linens, the poorest of which was fit for any earthly king. Across her neckline and cuffs, he affixed the most delicate lace, threads more slender than spiderwebs, lighter than a lover’s breath. He scoured his Mansion of a Hundred Rooms for bolts of cloth; gifts from fellow sorcerers, from superstitious lords, from the jealous summer fae, from workers of enchantment and loom. These he…

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Canoes of Hava’iki – Steve Rodgers

Ahokupe’s wrists jerked as the sennit ropes were tied tight behind him, and he bit his lip against the pain. Forcing his spirit to quiet, he breathed the subtle scents of rotting durian from the surrounding forest and focused his gaze on a parrot in a nearby rambutan tree. If he was to be fed to the God this day, his last thoughts would be a calm lagoon. Before him, the stone path twisted through…

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To the Eggplant Cannon – Beth Goder

The amusement park was so large that it had two trains named after root vegetables. Vienne got on the wrong one. Lugging her magician’s trunk in one hand and a map of Wonder Gardens in the other, she clambered onto the Rutabaga Express. The seat was sticky with pineapple gunk and the car was open to the sky. As the train chugged past the Bananarama Coaster and the whirling Strawberry Surprise, a sweet scent wafted…

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