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Woman of the Sun, Woman of the Moon

It is the aftermath of the world’s end, and nine birds–nine suns–lie dead while Houyi cradles the curve of her bow, her fingers locking around the taut hardness of its string. The tenth sun, the last, has fled. Chastise them, Dijun said, a father’s plea. But there is the land and the horror and the […]

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A Dance for the Dead

Content warning: War PTSD, suicide ideation The fingers of the dead scraped along the bottom of the skiff: brittle, dull taps that could’ve almost—almost—been sticks were this any other lake. Behind Teiz’s spot near the prow, water splished in time with Gapo’s oar-strokes. A fat-bellied glass lantern lit their course, the light glinting off the […]

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The Nine Lives of the Door Spirit

The sacred duty of every door spirit is to let in what must be let in, to keep out what must be kept out, and faithfully guard the threshold of all things. How well they uphold the integrity of the passage will be reflected in their next life. One The door spirit first came into […]

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Reconciliation Dumplings and Other Recipes

For Jari — the adaptor and tester of these recipes, here’s to many more cooking-writing adventures together ~~~ A POTFUL OF LAKESIDE TALES Containing Twelve Recipes both Sweet and Savoury Said Recipes being paired with Strange Tales from the Northern Lakes by Mistress Ember of-Alder-House. Imprinted at Fairdon-town, by Marcus Scriven, for Cloudberry of-Alder-House. 1664. […]

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Ghosting

Content warning: sexual content, drug use Lydia’s heat-swollen and sweat-sticky legs prickled under Creepy Clerk’s green-eyed gaze. Ignoring them, she filled her empty bottle from the water cooler, then chugged its contents until the aftertaste of vomit was gone. She knew what she must look like. Her eyes felt gritty, and the green-colored contacts she’d […]

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On the English Approach to the Study of History

History was being made. It was being made in the cold and lively city of Glasgow: dug out of archives, translated from handwriting, combed out of the cloud of digitised court records. It was being hammered out in study-bedrooms with Freecycled task chairs. It was refined in pubs whenever Ali Wishaw bought a friend a […]

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Tiger-boy’s Theater of Shattered Truths

Content warning: sexual content, brief torture For years, rumors of past illusionists drifted in these planes of silt and gravel like faint breezes; tales of tricksters summoning spirits with shiny wands, of hags trapping ghosts into slabs of dark glass, of shamans conjuring images of an antiquity unknown through the tips of their metallic staves; […]

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The Rainbow Bank

I – TOMATO DISTRICT Mezie adjusted the glasses on the bridge of his nose and tried to look inconspicuous as he stalked the back alleys of Tomato District. This side of town, apartment blocks were squeezed so tightly together they were often misconstrued for large living complexes. The congestion meant everybody knew everybody, and his […]

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Canyon Masks

Lyssa She let her mask dissolve only in the ephemeral chill of the Starsea, where she was alone. Where she was not required to be Strisa, castellain of the Broken Fang. Not required to be Lissara, vapid noble of the Koruz desert. Or any of her masks and false names. Where she was just herself— […]

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Her Suffering, Pretty and Private

There were two out-of-towners gawking at Adalène’s window when she sat down alone at the table in her shop. She’d had a pair of seamstresses to work for her, once upon a time, to do all the fussier piecing and hand-sewing. Sacred seas, she’d had customers once, too. A hundred years’ sleep had changed those […]

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