The Woman Who Brought Love to Death – Kathryn Yelinek

 Gudrun plunked herself down in the grass, her back against the side of the sod house. The guests were feasting, and the funeral ale was flowing, so she could indulge her grief a moment. Almighty gods, had Ketill been dead a week already? In the distance, the last of the smoke from his funeral pyre drifted over the horse fields. Beyond that, clear on the horizon, lay the green hill of Graenheth. Souls went …

Zsezzyn, Who Is Not a God – Jennifer Shelby

A lone man watches over the universe, and the pen he wields contains the power to erase from existence all he deems unworthy. His daughter, Zsezzyn, plays at his feet. She likes to watch him work — the steadily deepening crease on his brow, the scales on which he measures a balance of right, wrong, and the gray that lives between. One day, he will bequeath his pen to her, and this cave where the …

The Record Collector – Nathaniel Williams

The first time the house yells at them, it sounds like her husband. Eileen Ulmstead-Barris springs up in bed and looks at Preston lying next to her, motionless in his favored sleeping position—on his back, with his head buried under a pillow that should have smothered any sounds rising from his mouth. The shouts become louder and louder, then stop. Moments later, another cry fills the room. He must be having an awful nightmare, she …

Exhibit 57-B from the Trial of Alonzo Montalvo v. MoodFoods Incorporated – Douglas DiCicco

Exhibit 57-B in the matter of Alonzo Montalvo v. MoodFoods Incorporated is brought to you by NeutralBot, today’s leading provider of AI-directed viewpoint-neutral video analysis. NeutralBot: because no humans means no bias. This transcript has been enhanced with NeutralNotes™, providing useful context and analysis where deemed appropriate by the NeutralBot AI. These NeutralNotes™ have been crafted by our state of the art AI to be relevant to Alonzo Montalvo’s claim that MoodFoods Incorporated must indemnify …

A Witch’s Guide to Mushrooms and Toadstools – Hannah Hulbert

I kick my way through the decomposing leaves and they cling to my skirts. Others flit around me on the dying breath of summer, adding to the carpet that already comes up to my ankle. The only sound is the titter of thrushes and the distant drone of cattle. The track lies far behind me. I remind myself that I like being alone. That the forest is my ally. But I shiver anyway and quicken …

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 …