A Conversion of Crows – B. Morris Allen

It moved forward in a crawl, jagged angles flowing over soil and stone alike, dawn shaping shadow and sun into beaks and talons that moved relentless toward her boot and over it. With a touch of her finger, the fern curled in on itself, withdrawing crags and fangs into a soft ribbon of green and grey whose silhouette curled round her foot like a friendly snake. “Sawtooth, my ass,” she murmured. “You could cut something…

Keep reading

Oven Game – Paul A. Hamilton

The oven door creaks open, revealing the grimy, sweat-tracked face of a girl just past her seventh birthday. Opening an oven from the inside is difficult for a child, but Drea Kane has had practice. She crawls into the unfamiliar house and dusts off her black knit dress. Her grease-caked tights are living up to their name, squeezing her calves. She rubs the underside of her nose with a wrist; the streak of wetness finds…

Keep reading

Shadows on Glass – Jamie Lackey

It seemed impossible that the war had left a single thing untouched. And yet, here she was, familiar boards creaking under her bare feet, familiar smell of hotcakes and burnt coffee wafting from the kitchen. And in front of her, corn swayed in the summer morning breeze, just like it always had. If she closed her eyes, she could almost hear her brothers shouting at each other. But she could also almost hear injured soldiers…

Keep reading

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…

Keep reading

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…

Keep reading

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…

Keep reading