Luminaria – Matt Thompson

It’s a cold, hopeless wind that blows across the Southern Seas on these winter nights. Blade-edge gusts skim the waves; paper lanterns swing from the rigging, and the merchandise below decks strains against the swells: statues of boars and elephants, carvings of crocodiles and dung beetles, their marbled visages mocking the dreams of those who bear their burden of passage. On such a night one might remember the deserts of home, rocky outcrops on the…

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My Dog is the Constellation Canis Major – Jarod K. Anderson

I didn’t actually want a dog, so I guess I got what I wanted. The little guy belonged to my grandma. I don’t know many old ladies, but I still feel confident saying that she was a very cool old lady. She was 85 when she died, but she wasn’t that “so old it hurts to look at you” kind of 85 that makes death a blessing. She was more of a “gardening every day,…

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Regarding The Sainted Pirate Nicholas – Michael M. Jones

So there we are, in the venerable Rat King Tavern, on La Isla de los Diablos Perdidos (Lost Devils Island to you English-speakers), somewhere deep in the Emerald Sea, and it’s me and One-Handed Carlos and the Professor and Barney that acts as the bartender, and we’re swapping true tales of the strangest things to ever cross our paths back when we were still sailing instead of warming barstools and seeing to visiting crews. It’s…

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Adaptations to Coastal Erosion – B. Morris Allen

It was after summer that Nora started to sink. Just footsteps a little deeper than usual; she saw them as she came back on her walk, comparing her outgoing, energetic pace to her homecoming, philosophical one. The prints were firm and well defined in the hard wet sand, but deep, and she tried to remember whether she had been running. But the toeprints were too clean, and besides, running, at her age? Examined, her memory…

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Small Magics – Kelly Sandoval

Black flowers carpeted the floor that morning, cloaking the bedroom in funeral colors. Their petals, large as my hand and soft as suede, belonged to no plant I could name. The salt and midnight smell of them soured the cottage air. I would have liked to make tea before dealing with the evidence of Inae’s magics but, fearing some subtle poison contained in those leaves, I started the day with sweeping. The petals were thickest…

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In Dew and Frost and Flame – Vanessa Fogg

They were eight when he first wrote her name in dew. They’d met at recess, each wandering alone on the edges of the playground until they bumped into one another. His pockets were filled with acorns and stones; his hands held fallen twigs. He had no interest in joining the other boys with their ball games and imaginary light saber battles. Her pockets were filled with pine cones and pebbles; her hands clutched autumn leaves.…

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