The Circe Test – Nora Mulligan

Circe knelt in front of the pig, holding its face so that its eyes looked into hers. “You are not really a pig,” she said to it. “You know that. Think. Remember who you are, what you are, and you will return to that form.” The pig’s eyes blinked. It struggled in a panic to escape from her. Look as she might, Circe could see no traces of human intelligence in its face. With a…

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The Illuminator Leaves – Molly Etta

When the Fata first found me, I was very small, and I had lost my voice. Nevertheless, she took me in, and proved both kind and cruel thereafter. I used to gesture pleas, begging for the return of my voice. But she never seemed to understand why I would want such a burdensome thing back. She gave me colors — gold leaf, ultramarine blue, vermillion — so that I could draw and paint instead of…

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Light Winds With a Chance of Velociraptors – Michelle Ann King

“That’s the worst thing about the end of the world,” Elsie said, staring mournfully into a teacup that had long ago been licked clean of every last drop of Tetleys and soggy crumb of custard cream. “Routines go straight out the window.” Harry glanced away from the TV, which was showing aerial footage of a tiger chasing pigeons in Trafalgar Square. “Really? That’s the worst part? It’s not the deaths of millions and the imminent…

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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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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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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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