The Friendly Ghost – Ashley R. Carlson

A Year Before Conversations with you were never dull (it was one of the main reasons I wanted to marry you), but that night things had taken a random turn from flirty innuendos and our cat’s sudden-onset sneezing attacks to more macabre fare. You’d just told me about a dangerous incident that happened on the work site, and that if things had been left running a little while longer, you could’ve lost a limb or …

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 …

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 …

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 …