Archive

Uncertain fantasy

Story no. 33. 


The jewel thing sounds pretty stupid when you first hear about it. Like something that should be in a comic book or on a trading card.

I did a sort of internship in San Francisco, on the Blue Earth, running logistics for a couple high-profile exiled Fae, which is how I know about comic books and other human storytelling-things. If you can hide magic on the BE, you can do it anywhere, or at least that’s how the industry line goes.

I like to say that San Francisco is where I got my cynicism from. I read a lot of mangas and ate a lot of carry-out Chinese that year, and my office was underneath the staircase of a burnt-out row house in the Haight. Admittedly, it’s hard to avoid cynicism when your world is an afterthought, jammed between two bigger and more believable realities. Lathustra doesn’t even have a coherent physics. The Blue Earth has got gravity, and strong nuclear forces, and ee equals em cee squared, to keep things running more or less consistently. What’s true in one place is more or less true in another. Read More

Story no. 31. Hey, I was in Ireland, cut me a break.


Ifrid felt in her bones the moment God-of-Judgment set foot into her stepfather’s hall. The men-at-arms felt it; she saw fear and awe and hunger in their faces as she sprinted past them. There was no question if Eren felt it. Ifrid was a fast runner, but the other girl outpaced her like an eagle soaring over a deer.

They had been up in the Glen, a crevasse in the mountain which rose over the keep. It had been sheer extravagance for Lord Jaoth, the father of Lord Veath, to build the defensive walls right up around the Glen with no more motivation than a murmured wish of his wife’s, so that she might go walking in the little wood and look up at the waterfall that danced down onto the rocks night or day.

But it made a fine place to hide from Veath while she was practicing her archery, Ifrid thought, and if she needed to come back in a hurry she needed only rush up the steps and run along the walltop.

The noise from the town below had gone utterly still – no carts rattling, no men shouting, no women shrieking, no stone crashing on stone as they levered rocks one onto one another for the new trade hall. What was left was the sound of a man whistling, if a single man’s whistle could echo over miles of forest and rock. Below the whistle rustled whispering, the patter of footsteps, a child’s laugh. Read More

Story no. 29. Some of my friends are doing a 30/30 poem-a-day challenge for April. As I am not a poet, I am going to try to update this blog every day for this month.


I. Now

Clunk. Clunk clunk clunk. Splash. Clunk.

Tamarla peeked out of the third-story window of the crag house built on the stone in the middle of the river. A dark figure stood on the bank at the end of the chain bridge. It paced back and forth over the dirty quay, pulling bricks and stones loose from the wall to hurl across the river at his door.

“Tamarla, come out,” a voice like honey and the view from a lion’s stomach called. “I want to talk to you. I need you to make me a vest.”

Tamarla the tailor eased the window open a finger’s-width. “Come over the bridge, and I’ll measure you,” he said over the water. Another stone arched through the air before chocking against the wood of the door below him.

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Story no. 16.


Bet you thought I was dead, didn’t you? How’d you think I was telling this story to you, exactly? Orks don’t come back as ghosts. If we leave unfinished business, it stays unfinished.

But I’ll admit that for a while I assumed I had to be dead. Everything was dark and I couldn’t really move my limbs. It did strike me as peculiar that if oblivion were all that awaited me after death I should be aware of it.

As time passed, I became increasingly uncomfortable. My head burned and there was a weight on my chest and my arms. The place where the Fey’s glaive had gone into me, just under my left shoulder blade and certainly puncturing a lung, hurt so much the pain had become an unfamiliar, bizarre sensation: like having surgery done with an icicle while I was flying through the air at top speed. Read More

Story no. 10.

day10

Analise wasn’t sure where the packages were coming from, nor could she guess when the next one might arrive. This one, like all those before it, was delivered by parachute. All of them had dropped gently into her life when she alone – playing in the back garden, sitting in the hallway after being sent out for disrupting class, and this time, walking home from school. The wooden box was wrapped in brown paper, and the top slid free from two slots cut into the inside of the box.

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Story no. 9.


day9

In 1982, a man named Jaime Gonzalez moved from San Juan to the Bronx. Jaime was sick of living in his old neighborhood on the island for a lot of reasons – the heat, the poor sanitation, the bad prospects – but chief among them was that he had the rare talent to taste love, and it was driving him insane.

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Story no. 8.


day7

Once there was a woman trapped on a dock.

It was narrow structure built of slats of woods, unstable, almost flooding as it tipped from side to side. An old rope anchored it to a few metal posts rising from the ocean. They were stable enough to keep the dock from floating away entirely, but they could not hold her weight – she had tried to climb up on one during the long vigil of the night, and they swayed and bent dangerously. The shore – well, she couldn’t see it. Shadows twined through the yellow-brown water underneath her. They had been following her boat all this time (her boat, which now sat somewhere deep below her, obscured in the mud, with all her possessions in it.) One had risen to the surface a few hours ago, in case she had forgotten them: a pack of long, lithe sharks, some gray, some white, some brown-striped and spotted.

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