Kozuna, the Ogre’s Child – Felicity Drake

The red rental car plunged into the tunnel. Hitomi’s eyes adjusted: the sun winked out, replaced by the yellow glow of sodium lights flashing by too fast. Professor Ueda had insisted on driving. Hitomi had offered, of course, but he had looked so indignant that she was reluctant to offer twice. For an elderly man, he was a remarkably reckless driver. The tunnel was narrow and winding, and if she’d been driving, she would have …

The Dybbuk – Lewis Gershom

The lawyer tells Louis the item in the package once belonged to his grandfather. His grandfather’s will states that three days after his first grandson’s engagement, the grandson is to receive the package. Yes, the lawyer does know the contents; but no, she is not at liberty to divulge said contents. This is the grandfather who died when Louis’ mother was in college. This is the grandfather who never met Louis’ father. This is the …

The Lonely King – Gunnar De Winter

Once, he’d had loyal subjects. Now he only had bricks and sand. Immortality was not a blessing. He had dragged his throne to the highest tower of town. It had been an arduous task, but he’d had – quite literally – all the time in the world. The top of the tower had long since crumbled, exposing king and throne alike to the elements. Mocking desert winds threw hails of sand at the king’s weathered …

Fur and Feathers – Jess Koch

Dad was the first in our family to change. It was slow in the beginning: one morning he woke to find the skin on the back of his hand had hardened and darkened overnight. When I asked about it, he told me it was just dry skin, and I believed him because I was only twelve at the time and didn’t know what I know now. As weeks passed, the dark patch grew. It spread …

A Time for Understanding – Lisa Fox

I lay your bulky, yellow head on my lap, your labored breaths hot against my nightdress. Your massive Labrador paws thrash against an unrelenting hardwood floor, as if you’re trying to run to a place without pain. I press my cheek into your soft fur; it cushions the fear that strikes with each violent spasm that threatens to take you from me. I pull you close, wrapping myself around you until the yelps subside to …

Via Dolorosa – Christine Lucas

“Your father crapped himself,” croaks her aunt’s ghost. “Go clean him up!” “Yes, Aunt Katina.” Father craps himself every other hour; Maro needs to finish the bills first. But the numbers won’t add up. Father’s pension isn’t enough anymore. “Such a worthless daughter,” mutters the ghost. “I envy your mother, who’s not around to watch!” Of all the ghosts in this damned house, Aunt Katina had to be the talkative one. Maro shoves the bills …