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“Fleurs du Mal,” by J. Kathleen Cheney
I wondered then if there was inside my brother a seed of sorts, a slender elongated bulb like those I’d seen in Anne’s workroom. Thinking the police would never know, I drew the coverlet away, revealing the bloody mess of his shirt. A large hole gaped several inches beneath his chin, just to the left of the breastbone. I dropped the blanket back over him and stepped back, shaking in fury.
“As Below, So Above,” by Ferrett Steinmetz
Son squeezed billows of black ink around the ship to mask his approach, remembering what Two-Father had told him: Always curl your tentacles around the front, never in the back where the whirling tail-blades lie. Never rest your tips on the deck, lest they chop off the ends of your sensing-limbs. And should you brush against a long, thin tube of metal, draw away quickly before it squirts fire.
“Bread and Circuses,” by Genevieve Valentine, from BCS #55
Why an armed man should have been the one worrying, she never explained, but I had seen the tumblers tossing one another in the air and the strongman lifting all six dancing girls on his outstretched arms like they were no heavier than a pair of sleeves. I could guess what would happen to anyone who was caught out.
“Knowing Neither Kin Nor Foe,” by Nancy Fulda, from BCS #40
She was in the fields and out of sight of the kin-nest before she stopped to reconsider. Tahn would die anyway, once the Destroyer broke completely free of the barrier. If the old fool wanted to hurry the process, why stop him? He was no friend of hers, just another selfish lackey of the ley-readers. He’d probably only gone to manipulate her into following him. And like a soft-shelled hatchling, she was doing exactly that.