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Deus Absconditus

When I was a kid, any wizard could put a spell on me. I mean, there was always an occasion. We were either too noisy, or there was too many of us, and so there was always an old bitchy wizard who did not appreciate it when kids screamed, or a middle-aged impatient wizard who […]

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The Navigator and the Sky

ONE “Sing, Kio Lea! Sing!” Tapa O heard his wife urge, even over his own exhortations to his nephews and grandsons to paddle. The young men bent their backs. Sluggishly, the big double-hulled canoe moved out of the harbour. Huddled on the platform that joined the twin hulls, a pile of shadows beneath the platform’s […]

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On Higher Ground

One moment there was snow beneath Kayi’s skis, the next just sky. Her wingsuit snapped in the sudden wind as she dropped off the south face of Annapurna. Her eyes watered despite her mask and the pressure shift of falling thousands of feet in seconds popped her ears with a painful squeak. Kayi angled her […]

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Tilia Songbird

“I have a song for you,” the girl said, appearing in Anj’s study unannounced. The two bluetails in the cage by the window trilled a welcome. Anj looked past the girl to the outer chamber. Where was Shen? He was supposed to keep things like this from happening. “Your servant is striking a bargain to […]

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End Run

Thursday 1 January 2601 (Earth Relative Time) Ensign Darlene Charles took a deep breath to quell her nerves. This is my last chance to make a good impression. Because a third strike would not be a good career move in the Unified Star Fleet. As she picked her way through the dimly lit mess littering […]

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Tattooed Love Boys

The second week, Emma discovered a tattoo parlor down an alley off the main square. The young man behind the counter took one look at her and said, in careful English, “You are too young for a tattoo.” “I don’t want a tattoo. I don’t think I do. My brother does.” He is thinking about […]

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Mother Doesn’t Trust Us Anymore

Mother doesn’t trust us anymore. She won’t let us leave the house. You just stay there where I can keep an eye on you, she says. No, you can’t go play in the yard. Don’t you move. We’d noticed her starting to change a while ago. It worried us. When had she become different? Bicky […]

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The House of Aunts

The house stood back from the road in an orchard. In the orchard, monitor lizards the length of a man’s arm stalked the branches of rambutan trees like tigers on the hunt. Behind the house was an abandoned rubber tree plantation, so proliferant with monkeys and leeches and spirits that it might as well have […]

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Sauerkraut Station

“The sauerkraut is what makes us special,” Lizzie explained as she opened up the plastic door to show Themba the hydroponic units.  She scooped a pale green head of cabbage from the moist sand and placed it gently into Themba’s cupped hands. She held her breath as Themba cradled it in his palm, hoping: Please.  Please […]

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Jackstraw Magic

I don’t need a name, a past, a history, to draw a crowd. I’m nobody, and they watch to see me fail–but I don’t, and I laugh from the joy of it. I flash the bottles from hand to hand in the hot dawn, flash and catch, throw. Street jinks aren’t allowed to work the […]

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