taking the long way

Whoever said the real treat was the journey and not the destination, had likely never spent a week wading through Hayborthien crap. Jaes had plugged her nose with strips of cloth on day one, but she could still smell the sickly-sweet stench. The yellow sludge was everywhere. It sloshed into her boots and coated her […]

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inflight entertainment

“Mention Saturnia one more time and I swear I’ll jettison your ass.” Xata hovered her index finger over a button on the console, and waggled it threateningly. “Touchy, touchy.” Pell held up his hands. “You know, you’ve threatened me with that at least twenty times.” “Doesn’t speak well about your performance.” “Or your leadership.” Xata […]

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combust

The men toppled like fallen trees, limbs twisting grotesquely, as Bristol’s magic ran wild across the battlefield. Her own scream heralded the sounds of the dying into the sky. Aledorain felt his eardrums pop, as he grabbed onto Bristol’s ankle. He tried to haul himself towards her, like a dying man to shore, grunting as […]

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more than flesh

He leans into my pelvis, and I imagine I’m lying beneath a mountain. I think about the weight of stone, and the intimate tangle of root and dirt. I think about the heat from sunlight melting down the cragged peak, and the bone-deep chill of snow, when the light is gone. He shifts again, rolling […]

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boda

Boda relishes chaos above everything. If the old gods still picked heralds, Pandemonia would have snatched her up in a heartbeat. A brazen kiss in a Kraestonien market was all it took to make me dance after her shadow, forgetting family and oaths in an instant. Two years later, here we are. She grins with […]

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a tithe in flesh

Someone is groaning pitifully. I try pursing my lips to shush them, but I can’t feel my mouth. Well, shit. I am sauced, again. I force open an eyelid, and the moan cuts off, as the sun drives a fiery spike down into my brain. Hissing, I shut my eye. I remember collapsing on the […]

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Third

Blood clots at the corners of her eyes, the viscous, purple-black liquid sizzling slightly as it’s touched by the air. I stare at her. Heat and ice ripples across my back, and I reach out and stroke a finger across the feathers below her throat. Osmaern will be frenzied when he finds her gone. I […]

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frozen

Her skin glistens in the radiant, unbound light, rime-coated flesh indistinguishable from the snow. Brown hair fans around her, and curls over the buttoned collar of a thrifted, sickly green coat. It reminds me of the threadbare sofa at gram’s house, pointedly sheathed in plastic. Byron stomps up beside me, cursing as his foot slides […]

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the mountain’s door

Untangling massive arms from a mess of lichen-smeared scree and withered roots, the stone woman pushed herself upright. Rai flipped her cloak up protectively, as small rocks cascaded off the woman’s shoulders. She winced as something struck her head, then nearly fell backwards off the steep slope when the guardian stamped an enormous foot. “Who […]

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distraction

Callon was not one for abnegation, especially when it applied to whiskey and medieval weaponry. “You plan the best dates,” Jaen said. She grinned a tight, dark smile and ran a finger over the sharpened point of a crossbow bolt lying on the table. “What, no words of caution? No demands to think and sober […]

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