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 …

Revitalized – Jason P. Burnham

As she trudged down the alley, out of sight of the grey uniforms, Cenessa saw a small puddle. But how? Could it be a mirage? It was certainly hot enough. The dust she had stirred from the parched, cracked earth settled as she stood there, trying to figure out if she was hallucinating the water. Behind her, the way was clear. In front of her, the puddle abutted the stone barrier at the dead end. …

Sonata III: Canta – L. Chan

Adagio: Canta Sona, on a quest for vengeance, has enlisted help of the Six Named to play a piece of heretical Music composed by his mother, the Lady Kristyk. Shailani found Sona harbouring a second secret, a device of his mother’s design, able to capture and replay any Music it hears, but the Music that Sona has brought is eerily familiar to her; containing elements of her own people’s holy songs, Music she was sent …

The Draining – Matt Hornsby

It is strange to imagine that serpent-men might love serpents. After all, they go to great lengths to wreak destruction on the beasts, travelling far out on the fickle and changing sea to slay them. One might not imagine, too, that serpent-men love the Wetness. Yet they do. I never met a serpent-man who did not hold both the serpents and the sailing season quite dear in his heart. I surely loved both right well, …