The Noise Inside – Vaya Pseftaki

Sheyen swallows hard and his ears pop. The Noise stops. How long did it last this time? He glances at the water-clock fixed on the wall. Longer than before. It first came a month ago, on his fourteenth birthday, along with the hair. That day, he woke up to a humming, drenched in sweat and with the smooth skin of his head itching. And no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t pinpoint where the …

Absurd of a Feather – Amman Sabet

I’m getting a note from my doctor that will keep me out of the pool for gym. It’s not that I can’t swim. Last year I came in third place for breast stroke. This is different. I’m uncomfortable with taking my shirt off now, and I’d rather spend the period studying in the library while the other kids do laps and cannonball into the deep end. “Terrence,” my doctor tells me in his examining room. …

Pleasing the Giants – Carolyn Lenz

Deiderick raced down the cobblestone street, the hollow sound of his footsteps barely audible over the singing around him. It wouldn’t take long for his mother and father to notice him missing. He was supposed to be arranging tulips now, in full view of the giants, just as their boat passed. But they wouldn’t ask where he was. They wouldn’t show any anger or disappointment in him. Their smiles wouldn’t falter, not when the giants …

The Soul Farmer’s Daughters – Kyle Kirrin

Thirteen souls flit about in mason jars on the mantle above my workbench. They’re bright—luminescent, even—but they’re not potent enough for the Duke. I glance at the ghostly light flickering within Vella’s abdomen, then pull another stool up next to mine. “Come, sit. I’ve got a surprise for you.” She joins me. “But isn’t—” “He’s still a little ways out. We’ve got time.” Seventeen minutes to be exact, I think, but never say. “Close your …

Two Villains, a Notebook, and a Lump of Coal – Helen French

Alone in a badly-lit corridor in the still of night, Leora wondered if she’d made a terrible mistake. She’d stolen what she’d broken into Namose College to steal and yet it felt like everything was on the verge of going wrong. Nothing good had ever happened to her in this vile magician’s den, that was true. But she was halfway out of the building. Victory, of a sort, was hers. And yet… There was something …

Five Star Review – Alyssa N. Vaughn

“We need to get serious about losing weight.” my mother says as she tosses the empty pizza boxes next to the recycling bin. “I beg your pardon?” I manage to sputter, following behind her to break the boxes down into smaller pieces that will actually fit inside the bin. My toddler, Johnny, is in bed already, but my mother insists that we have “girl time” at the end of each one of her unannounced visits. …