Tag Archives: family troubles

No. 29, and 2/30 in the April business. 

Her friend smelled like fruit and artificial flowers. “Okay, I really have to go. I have to get home for Matt’s thing,” Emma said, releasing Hanna from the long hug.

“Who’s Matt?” her roommate asked.

“My oldest brother,” Emma said shortly.

“I thought it was just you and Steve,” Hanna said in surprise.

“Steve’s my only full brother, yeah. My mom was married before.”

Hanna moseyed across their tiny kitchen to peek out the window onto Central Square. “Looks cold out there. So you’ve got a half-brother? Any other siblings I don’t know about?”

“Matt’s the oldest of five in that bunch.”

“Holy shit,” Hanna said, turning to fix her with pale stunned eyes behind her dark glasses. “How did you never mention that?”

Emma shrugged. “My family history is . . .weird. I’d better get going.”

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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. 12.


The house always had fourteen rooms, but they were not always the same fourteen rooms. Sometimes Siri opened a door into the basement and spent the quiet hours looking through kitchen after kitchen, opening ovens and rummaging through cabinets. Usually there was no silverware, but occasionally she poked herself on a fork. Other times the door ushered her up an enormous spiral staircase, and the fourteen rooms were all rumpus rooms, all made of glass, ascending alongside the stately climb of the central corridor. A few times the front door had left her in a long string of bedrooms, mostly painted purple, all with mysterious wardrobes and bookcases tucked in the corners and the closets. Once or twice the house hadn’t even been in only one building, but dispersed throughout the attics of five or six different townhouses. She had had to guess from the shape and color of the shutters which ones she ought to enter and search.

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Story no. 11.


The train ride to Disreka’s village was a long one. Agbet’s face assumed the expression of grave contentment that so enraged Cemberin when he saw it on his father’s face. It was a Cathdari mannerism that he had never been able to master, this ability to keep every thought he had from running across his cheek muscles in spasms.

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Story no. 5. My deepest apologies for the delay! In the in-between time I have started classes at EPFL, and unsurprisingly I have been wildly busy. At least my computer has resumed working for the time being.

This will be only a two-parter.

At least Agbet’s boarding school town had a train station.

Cembarin repeated this to himself as he rang the bell again. The shutters over the ticket window remained closed.

Having a station meant that you had trains passing through more than twice a week. A train station meant you could leave—go to the next town! go to Caillon, even!—at virtually any time, without having to call Tuga Kadescher and beg her to let you sleep in the spare room over the garage on Thursday night until you could catch the Saturday morning train that buzzed through the platform at eleven-oh-five. With a train station in town, you certainly didn’t have to swallow your pride and beg your father to let you borrow the car, and find yourself walking twenty miles in a state of numb outrage when he squinted past you and said he didn’t think that was a very good idea and why didn’t you go down to the family shrine and pray on it a bit? Read More