Fiction

Travels with the Snow Queen

Part of you is always traveling faster, always traveling ahead. Even when you are moving, it is never fast enough to satisfy that part of you. You enter the walls of the city early in the evening, when the cobblestones are a mottled pink with reflected light, and cold beneath the slap of your bare, […]

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The Drowning Line

To Anna–Maria, my roots, my strength It’s the satellite phone duct–taped around my left bicep that wakes me up. Not the late October noises in the deep night, nor the ice–cold water that cleaves my body in half at the abdomen. It’s the desperate ringing, muted under layers of plastic to keep it dry, and […]

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The Plague Givers

She had retired to the swamp because she liked the color. When the Contagion College came back for her thirty years after she had fled into the swamp’s warm, black embrace, the color was the same, but she was not. Which brings us here. The black balm of dusk descended over the roiling muddy face […]

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The Sound of Salt and Sea

The funeral was at dawn, the cold wind off the ocean rippling coat hems and tugging at scarves. The words were said, the blessing given, the family offered one final chance to make their farewells. When they had finished, the pallbearers picked up the edges of the thin pallet the old woman was laid on, […]

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Ye Highlands and Ye Lowlands

Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands, Oh, where have you been? They have slain the Earl of Moray, And they laid him on the green. —Child Ballad 181, “The Bonny Earl of Moray.” Things have consequences. Kids figure that out around the time they’re old enough to realize that when they touch a hot stove, they […]

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Big Thrull and the Askin’ Man

Everybody knows about Thrull. Thrull like legend among us folk—biggest, greenest, meanest, nastiest, and dirtiest of all—with one big difference: legends false, Thrull true. We tell the story of Thrull and the reindeer feast, and the story of Thrull and the Mountain Witches, and the story of how Thrull wrestled Winter and wed Summer on […]

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The Artificial Bees

Randall lowered one foot on to the surface of green fibers. The organic matter yielded under her weight but seemed to support her. She dared to put a second foot on to the strange, graminoid material—just as Archive came back with a response. “A lawn,” it told her. “Proceed with operation.” Randall prowled across the […]

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The Wolf and the Tower Unwoven

Scrawny and boyish in his ill–fitting humanity, the wolf paced naked through my forest. Even my old eyes could see the way grasping brambles had torn his unprotected skin. An unwoven thing he was, a creature of the tower’s making. My responsibility. Or, at least, my fault. I set a platter of cold meat on […]

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