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Narrated by Folly Blaine.

I hoped this was more than pretense, since our survival might soon depend on her. Father could conceal his peachwood sword easily enough, but there was no way I’d be allowed to bring my jian into the magistrate’s presence. I took my own precious bawu for no good reason that I could think of. I knew only Mei Li could reliably conjure a weapon out of hers at need; so far all my attempts at this transformation had come up short.

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Read “An Account of the Madness of the Magistrate, Chengdhu Village” by Richard Parks, in Issue #250, Special Double-Issue

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Richard Parks is an ex-pat Southerner now living in central New York state with his wife and a couple of grumpy cats. He is the author of the Yamada Monogatari series, just concluded with Yamada Monogatari: The Emperor in Shadow from Prime Books. In addition to appearances in several Best of the Year anthologies, he has been a finalist for both the World Fantasy Award and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature.

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