The one who brings your food is named Osla. My birds are trained well, and this one will have struck at his eyes. Take this parchment quickly, speak his name, and he will fall like the rain outside your window. You must move quickly, for the first guard will be at the door.

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Read “Read This Quickly, For You Will Only Have a Moment...” by Stephen Case, in Issue #81

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Stephen Case is a writer of fiction and a historian of science. His latest book is Making Stars Physical: the Astronomy of Sir John Herschel (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018). His fiction has appeared most recently in Mysterion, Daily Science Fiction, as the cover story in the December 2018 issue of Intergalactic Medicine Show, and in the final issue of Shimmer. Find him online at and occasionally tweeting @StephenRCase.

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