The Oiran’s Song

(Content Note: Some readers may find elements of this story disturbing.) Winter will always remind you of three things: the smoke rising from the fire that burned your home; the cold floor you slept on as a pageboy in the teahouse; and the peculiar shade of your brother’s skin, the way his bruises grayed like […]



The first time it happened, I was thirteen. I was in a bar, but not because I wanted to be in a bar. Because my Uncle Louis took us to a fancy restaurant in a fancy hotel that had a fancy bar stuck down in the middle of it like a freaking gauntlet you had […]


The Half-Life of Angels

Disasters spawn angels upon the earth. The angel of New Orleans bears wings of rain and howling wind. The angels of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bear wings like flash–burned silhouettes. The angel of San Francisco bears wings of smoke. The angels of London stand together, wing brushing wing, fire, plague, the concussion of bombs. The Valdivia […]


A Year and a Day In Old Theradane

1. Wizard Weather It was raining when Amarelle Parathis went out just after sunset to find a drink, and there was strange magic in the rain. It came down in pale lavenders and coppers and reds, soft lines like liquid dusk that turned to luminescent mist on the warm pavement. The air itself felt like […]


Midnight Hour

The Nameless Queen sipped her port, rolling the blood–dark liquid in her mouth. The night’s rain pattered against the tall leaded glass windows of her sitting room in a gentle susurration. On the mantel, the clock ticked four minutes until midnight. The door burst open, bouncing against the paneled wall. “… must be planted in […]

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Woman at Exhibition

Because it was the only decoration on the cracked white walls of the apartment, Estelle found herself gazing for the fiftieth time at the faded print of Nighthawks that had survived Luke’s college years with its corners thumbtacked to lace. Her attention drifted from the counterboy’s white cap and shoulders to the gleaming coffee urns […]


The Rainbow Flame

For C. S. E. Cooney, whetstone Wiping sweat from her forehead before it could spill into her eyes, Rupali stirred a large iron cauldron over a searing fire. Swirls of silver, shards of sky, and the thorny notes of a forgotten folk melody all danced through the boiling beeswax. It was different every time, like […]


Three Voices

Andre Irving was pissed off about going to the Adams Ave Street Fair. Bethanny tricked him by saying they were only having espresso at Lestat’s Coffee shop to talk. He wanted to discuss their off–again–on–again–now off again relationship. He was trying to turn it back on. Bethanny wasn’t trying to hear him on it. Once […]


Young Woman in a Garden

Beauvoisin (1839–1898) Edouard Beauvoisin was expected to follow in the footsteps of his father, a provincial doctor. When he demonstrated a talent for drawing, however, his mother saw to it that he was provided with formal training. In 1856, Beauvoisin went to Paris, where he worked at the Académie Suisse and associated with the young […]