On the Scales of Dragons – Kathryn Yelinek

High above the island of Dreden, the wind roared in Tala’s ears, chilling her despite the warm bulk beneath her, and she wished humans could mindspeak as dragons did. Instead, she rapped her knuckles against one of Kendriley’s incised neck scales and spoke magné, a minor Word of power that amplified her voice. “I don’t think the people of Dreden want visitors. Any chance those Xs are bones?” Kendriley dipped her green head to survey…

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The Cypress and the Rose – Sandi Leibowitz

On her sixteenth birthday, a girl approached her mother, a priestess gifted in prophecy, to learn her name and her fate. The trees of that island country spoke with the people, the priestesses most of all, and taught them things that we, to whom the trees are mostly silent, cannot guess. “Your true name is Cypress,” the mother told her. “The tree of mourning?” “The tree of resilience. It is long-lived. And where there is…

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The Three Sisters – K. D. Azariah-Kribbs

Once upon a time there were three brothers who lived with their parents in the midst of a vast forest. If there were any other people in the forest, they knew nothing of them, for they found no trails other than those they themselves had blazed, and they found no pits for iron in the bogs other than those they themselves had dug, and they discovered no hewn trees other than those they themselves had…

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Velaya, the Dreaming City – Beston Barnett

Six parts after Dunsany Part 1 I set out for Velaya as a young man, having only just pledged to wed. I was to marry Belqis, flower of our village and light of my eyes, in whose father’s orchards I had played since my childhood. Our marriage should have been enough for a lifetime of happiness. But I believed then—as so many young fools do—that dreams were the currency of happiness, and I carried with…

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Always Dawn to Forever Night – Luke Elliott

Pwela woke to a chill unknown in the Forest of Always Dawn. Tar and peat filled the air, undercutting the perpetual crispness. She shot to her bare feet. While she slept, the Rot Thing had stolen her warmstone. Her warmstone sustained her, let her live in the everglow of the forest. Her palms went slick and her breath came short and shallow. She should flee. Run as far and fast as skylight arcing over a…

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Cheminagium – David Gallay

Pain, true pain, lives outside of time. It arrives in a shear of liminal precognition, the thudding sky before the storm. We formulate routes of escape, believing that the visitor darkening our door could be turned away with the right words. It doesn’t matter what we do, what we say, whether the heart is flooded by prayers or screams. Pain is patient. The door always opens. Col is only an arm’s length away, huddled in…

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