Third Night

It was his third night in the hotel and he was getting used to all the noises in the night: the wind whistling through cracked plaster, the scurrying in the walls, the groan of the elevator, the shrieking of police sirens and car alarms. Everything stank of cigarette smoke and cheap disinfectant. Three nights. He'd... Continue Reading →

Edges

The edges of the world are narrow things, seen only at the perfect alignment of time and space: a step to the left or the slip of the second hand on a watch and they are gone. If you look through, you will see the world's end, where a waterfall of ┬ámoments and matter cascade... Continue Reading →

The Witch’s Shed

You can do no magic with new things, gleaming and pristine in their suffocating packaging. This was one of the first things Pomona's teacher had told her. Magic is a wild thing, an ancient thing. It blossoms in the forgotten things, in the shadowed corners, in the depths of woods. So Pomona, like her teacher... Continue Reading →

City of Mist

There is a city like ice in the sun, like smoke in the wind. It is a maze of sparkling water, of spanning bridges, of shadows and whispers. Through narrow alleys the traveller walks, silent as a cat. Crossing a low bridge, he looks down at the waterway beneath. Small waves lap at foundations. He... Continue Reading →

A Cold Eternity

During the long cold nights, she liked to remember summer: the warmth of the sun on her skin, the lake a wavering war of light and darkness, leaves green on the reaching branches of the young trees, birdsong in the air. In the ice, there were no lake, no leaves, no branches, no birdsong, and... Continue Reading →

In a Glass Darkly

They watch it on the monitors: grey against grey, shadow against shadow. And the more they watch, the more they cannot agree. "Like a bird," says the first man. "A bird with a plume made of smoke." "No, no," mutters the second man. "Like a hooded man. A hunched, thin man, his legs like matchsticks... Continue Reading →

Digging

Josiah Lee was an ordinary man. He sold carrots at the ┬ámarket, he helped the Smiths clean their drains, and he knew everybody's name. On a warm June night, he rose from his bed, took up his shovel, went into the yard, and began to dig. When the sun rose, he still dug. His pajamas... Continue Reading →

Wandering Soles

They are wandering shoes, soles worn through walking, tips taped in layers of silver. The dust that coats them is the dust of a hundred places, scattered far and wide. She wore them for many years, when her stomach roared with hunger and her fingers stung with cold. Now they sit beside a half-dozen other... Continue Reading →

Magic and Murmurs

On a farm in the high mountains, a wizard lived alone. He'd had enough of people, enough of their wars and their squabbling. He made a house from stone and wood and set about taming the land with his magic. The fields were plowed by sharpened boulders, drifting gently through the dirt. The fences opened... Continue Reading →

Optical Illusions

Mesmerized, Allison (who was seven and three-quarters years old and delighted in telling everyone) watched the glasses. Blue, yellow, and red liquid, all tipped to one side even though the glasses were perfectly straight. She had learned about liquids in school. They weren't supposed to do that. Her nose wrinkled in thought. "Any questions?" asked... Continue Reading →

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