Pre-Triage – Joe Prosit

As of today, I’m a human crumple-zone. I saw to that myself. The highway network will see my car and label me the perfect impact absorber. There was a time I thought I had things all figured out. I had a good job. I had plans. Ambitions. Goals. A house of cards sent toppling down when they pulled my job out from underneath me. My severance package, nothing more than a handshake and an escort …

Regret’s Relief – Travis Wade Beaty

I would have never gone to the Glyphs of Onyx if I hadn’t fallen in love. I was in my final year at the University of Spell-Craft in Silver Forge. And as Silver Forge was the nearest port to the island of Onyx, and as the glyphs had been discovered only five years prior, students were always taking little holidays up there to see them. Most returned unimpressed. The Onyxian parliament itself had investigated the …

Figlia della Neve – Jonathan Louis Duckworth

The wife’s eyes are closed, but there is no flutter of dream under her lids, and when her name escapes like a shy moth from the husband’s tongue, she says, “Go on, I’m listening.” The husband begins his story. The young man set out early one winter morning in search of the fabled Cold Lady. After hours of searching, he found her gliding through the silvered lindens and fell utterly in love. Her limbs were …

Donald Q. Haute, Gentleman Inquisitator, and the Peril of the Pythogator – David A. Hewitt

Inquisitator’s Log: July 11, 20—; 11:53 pm The Donald Q. Haute residence, Springstump Township The electromail came in the night, heralded by a ping from my desktop computing-box. My Inquisitator’s training snapped me instantly from deepest REM to full wakefulness, and I leapt, puma-fashion, from the bed. To: DQHInquisit8@squiggle.web From: Ballyhoo495371475@orgcom.net Subject: Porthos lost! Please help! A foreboding fell upon me. This Porthos: a priceless diamondjade idol of ancient Mesopocambria? A white-bearded guru-monk who’d discovered …

Seven Scraps Unwritten – L. Chan

Scrap 1: Monograph on the four catechisms The first catechism of Eulalia is DIVERSITY LEADS TO STRENGTH. Its sigil is a square made of four interlocked components, reminiscent of hands each grasping the wrist of the next, forming a box. Scrap 1 has an annotation, handwritten: This logos is one of the most complex in the Logocracy of Eulalia. This and the other three logos are said to be without beginning, just as the Logocracy …

Clod-Shodden – J.J. Drew

Part 1 – The Garden There were many in the beginning, dozens of basil seedlings basking under the warm sky and nodding dreamily at one another as if to say, “you’re growing, as am I, and that is right and good.” They grew in groups of four, and their pot-mates, whose roots caressed their own, were especially dear to them, as dear as the sun and the summer breeze. Then one day the Caretaker came …