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Fiction

The Scholar of the Bamboo Flute

Liên’s first duel at the Phụng Academy was bewildering, and almost unfair in its simplicity. She let Mei—the fey, mercurial schoolmate half the academy seemed to avoid—take her to the arena. They paused at iron-wrought gates with a huge lock and a clear sight of what lay beyond: a crumbling platform by the river, overgrown […]

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Bones Are Stones for Building

Inside the stasis gel, I awaken to Mother’s incoherent ravings corrupting my circuits; heart detonating in exponential elevation. My lungs fight to expel the thick gel and I shouldn’t be able to gain consciousness before the rising solar radiation levels announcing morning trigger the gel’s breakdown process. As my body convulses—leftover organics labouring at the […]

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The Eternal Cocktail Party of the Damned

Content Note: Threat of Sexual Assault, Casual Violence   “Ooh, let me show you the pictures.” Bayzoth the demon scrolls through his cell phone and holds it out with pride, raising his voice over the noise of the party. “She was the runt of the litter—only two heads—but she’s just the sweetest floof.” “Awwww,” Asphos […]

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This Village

You don’t know who we are, but we promise you we are harmless, and we made this village for you. Well, for you and for us, and for all the others that might follow. Each of us built their own little house. Some are made from hard candy, with gingerbread window frames and a door […]

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The Path of Water

After I came in from the thorns and the princess wept sight back into my scarred eyes, we were married. The chapel was full of people but I cared only for the doves that coasted from rafter to rafter, and as we approached the altar and the organ music faded, my eyes—unused to seeing—drifted closed, […]

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Requiem for a Dollface

The doll was dead. There was nothing for it. Bear had seen bad cases before: legs ripped off, heads torn from necks, hair rudely shorn. Dolls mutilated by ink, fire, even—once—the lawn mower. Not every child loved their toys gently. That was life. This was murder. He wondered if the little girl knew yet. It […]

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