Some Sun and Delilah – B. Morris Allen

“I’ll cut your hair,” she said impulsively one evening. “You’re getting shaggy, and far too blond with all this sun.” We were vacationing in the islands, trusting the fresh sea winds to bring life to stale hopes. We sat half-naked on limestone dust as soft as flour, and sifted it through our fingers. We’d made love as many times as there were shells strewn on the sand. It had brought back our glory days, when …

There is a City, He Told Me – Evan James Sheldon

There is a city where the outer walls shift and entrances dance away, so that a passerby might think they are merely approaching from the wrong side. If you know about this city, if you are patient and cunning, you can find a way in, and what a city! Its interior is not flashy, not filled with magicians and trees burning with inner fire, but there is comfort there you can find with diligence and …

The Last Duty – Dawn Lloyd

The fireworks rocketed past the jagged remnants of the palace’s roof, soared above the razor wire, and then cascaded down behind the wall. The gunpowder boomed. The first four nights, my eyes had jerked to the remnants of the roof still clinging to charred rafters. I was sure the concussion would shake the last pieces lose, crushing me. But I had not been so lucky, and tonight I closed my eyes to shut out the …

Never Fade Away – Claire Simpson

“Miz Ellerker?” The old woman looked up from where she was kneeling in her garden, tending to the tiny green shoots that were poking through the soil. “There’s a name I ain’t heard in a while,” she said to the young whippersnapper shifting from foot to foot on the far side of her gate. “I’ve gone by a few others in the years since then.” “But you are Miz Ellerker?” the kid persisted. “I was.” …

Country Whispers – Matthew Amundsen

Seeing the bodies of them girls hanging outside the town’s gates made me think coming here was a bad idea, but it was too late to go back now. The driver, Finnas, didn’t seem the type to turn these horses around no matter what I said, and Maw would send me right back even if he did. The kitties dangling alongside the girls made me feel worse. I didn’t know if the girls did anything …

The Memory Dresser – Nicholas M. Stillman

Our parlor is small—tucked in a corner of Helm, folded between an empty Gassa stall and the home of a half-deaf mystic. For this reason, discretion numbers as one of our services. Not even the moon bears full witness, as Illsea, the largest Tower on the hill, shades us from the first few hours of evening light. Under our lamps, we shape the memories of the people of Helm, our people. Unlike the royals in …