Issues from 2019
Issue #277
Size / Zoom
The Bone Flute Quartet

Experimentally, I played a few notes on the bone flute from High-Flying Jack. Gently, the sky gathered me up into its cool arms. And in no time at all, I was flying south over fields and forest, as true as an assassin's arrow.

In no time at all, I was flying south over fields and forest, as true as an assassin's arrow.
The Thirty-Eight-Hundred Bone Coat

The river fought like a snake that could smell the sweetness in his blood. It wrapped thick coils hawser-tight around him and tried to throw him down the current. He twisted, slipped through and beat up into light bright as the sun over his head. He had it. Three fingertips above the silt, the hand still whole and safe below.

The river fought like a snake that could smell the sweetness in his blood.
Audio Fiction Podcast:
The Bone Flute Quartet
Play

Podcast: Download (Duration: 32:55 — 22.61MB)
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

In no time at all, I was flying south over fields and forest, as true as an assassin's arrow.
From the Archives:
Fox Bones. Many Uses.
Many more questions hung in the air between them. She answered just one.
Issue #276
Size / Zoom
Fury at the Crossroads

“Give me my shit back,” Fury growled. The sight of her guitar awoke righteous rage in her. It was hers, the last remnant of her family and people, the last thing she carried from her home as it was destroyed, burned in humanity’s war against its divine. Besides Fury herself, the guitar was the only thing that remained to prove that her parents’ love had existed.

Furious Jackson reclined on the banks of the BlackDog river and strummed her guitar for an audience of dead cypress.
Hangdog

They found him dangling from what was left of a tough old willow. Grinn’s nose couldn’t have missed him, the clean den-smell of hidden wolf beneath the bitter futility billowing from him like wet-leaf smoke. She eased along the dry creek bed from behind. Her choices displeased the palomino, but she could take this other wolf if it came to claws. He was a long fellow, sure, broad-shouldered with shaggy brown hair, but Grinn’s height and heft near matched him.

Grinn punched her chest, thumping the bullet out like the last sweet in the jar.
Audio Fiction Podcast:
Fury at the Crossroads
Play

Podcast: Download (Duration: 51:33 — 35.4MB)
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Furious Jackson reclined on the banks of the BlackDog river and strummed her guitar for an audience of dead cypress.
From the Archives:
The Warriors, The Mothers, The Drowned
Ana thought the land of the dead would be empty, but it is full to bursting.
Issue #275
Size / Zoom
Boiled Bones and Black Eggs

My aunt the roasted chicken to the table and laid it out in front of Lord Ning. It was an excellent supper, and I had helped her with the roasting. I knew that it was good, and at first, from the way Lord Ning started to wolf it down, tearing the chicken with both hands, I thought we would soon be rid of him.

The inn is a place where the dead get of hand if they aren't placated, honored, and fed.
The Red Honey Witch

Goodwitch Vidya looked up at her, just once, and in that moment Arati felt the great weight of generations press onto her back, the duty of witches long gone. A duty she did not want. A duty she was expected to uphold. She made tea with numb hands, let the woman cry onto her shoulder, and all the while the bees hummed from the cracks in the walls.

But most of all she hated the bees, who buzzed about her head and asked to be let in.
Audio Fiction Podcast:
The Red Honey Witch
Play

Podcast: Download (Duration: 21:02 — 14.44MB)
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

But most of all she hated the bees, who buzzed about her head and asked to be let in.
From the Archives:
By Appointment to the Throne
Getting up early enough to open a kitchen hurts.
Issue #274
Size / Zoom
Undercurrents

Rory nods. The bullets are Lutean-made, salt and iron and whatever special magic they use to make them potent against rivers. Even clipped, the bullet will prevent the river from transforming, will lock nem in nir humanoid body until ne can find enough untainted water to filter out the taint of it.

Rory nods. The bullets are Lutean-made, salt and iron and whatever special magic they use to make them potent against rivers.
I Am Destiny

Now, suddenly, there is a third path. An unknown path. Why do I share a face with this woman? And why had she come here? What does it mean to me—a lowly servant with far more power than is good for her—and to the small creature growing in my belly waiting to suck up my power at its birth? It seems impossible it could mean nothing.

Why do I share a face with this woman? And why had she come here?
Audio Fiction Podcast:
Undercurrents
Play

Podcast: Download (Duration: 39:05 — 26.84MB)
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Rory nods. The bullets are Lutean-made, salt and iron and whatever special magic they use to make them potent against rivers.
From the Archives:
The Moon Over Red Trees
...where she might well always be the jumped-up little Annamite to other Frenchmen—but what does it matter, if she has Raoul's love?
Issue #273
Size / Zoom
Through the Doorways, Whiskey Chile

As he sloshed to the side of the tunnel, toward thick strips of skin raised up like steps on a station platform, a foot or two above the river of hooch, I noticed that the embers of beard he’d wiped away had made sparks in spots where they’d fallen, red puffs of lily pad trailing far behind.

He sloshed to the side of the tunnel, toward thick strips of skin raised up like steps on a station platform, a foot or two above the river of hooch.
New Horizons

Chester recites a silent prayer to St. Stockton. Prays for this trip to be a success. It had begun as a rescue, an escape from the seas and bondage. But now? Now he is a disciple. An acolyte to the rails. And this was to be their final pilgrimage.

Now Chester is a disciple. An acolyte to the rails. And this was to be their final pilgrimage.
Audio Fiction Podcast:
New Horizons
Play

Podcast: Download (Duration: 32:05 — 22.03MB)
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Now Chester is a disciple. An acolyte to the rails. And this was to be their final pilgrimage.
From the Archives:
The Warriors, The Mothers, The Drowned
Ana thought the land of the dead would be empty, but it is full to bursting.
Issue #272
Size / Zoom
When Sirens Sing of Roses and of Delegated Power

She wove the melody with her voice, but as she sang, her entire being vibrated with wonder as the serving dish gave her a glimpse into a flowering rose garden in the heart of a land so different from her own, it almost seemed to inhabit its own reality. Within the configurations of this garden she recognised enough to remember a time when she too was young, and curious enough to want to explore the world of humans in Terra Cognita.

“Much of what we have in our lives originated as ideas in the human world—even in your parlour furniture.” Velia was always too happy to point out the obvious.
The Boy Who Loved Drowning

Bit tucked his body sinking under the black water away into the corner of his mind and went to the other place, where there was no light and he was floating without water. Weeds like ropes caressed him. In the drowning, he moved by falling, feeling what direction he needed to go and letting himself tumble that way. The answers swarmed around his ankles in the dark, warm like fur and soft like mud under his hands.

Bit could go five minutes into the drowning. The answers swarmed around his ankles in the dark.
Audio Fiction Podcast:
When Sirens Sing of Roses and of Delegated Power
Play

Podcast: Download (Duration: 37:25 — 25.69MB)
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

“Much of what we have in our lives originated as ideas in the human world—even in your parlour furniture.” Velia was always too happy to point out the obvious.
From the Archives:
A Marble for the Drowning River
I was afraid to say anything, but my mouth said, “please don’t kill her” without making any sound.
Issue #271
Size / Zoom
Blood, Bone, Seed, Spark

She wasn't the first to observe and draw the germinative animalcules inside a man's seed. But as with any field that did not serve the greater goal of abatement, studies into reproduction had fallen by the wayside. And Anell intended, after all, to do more than merely observe and draw. This way lay greatness, the kind that could not be scraped out of a lifetime's long work tacking minutes onto the sunset days of her head of House.

Anell intended, after all, to do more than merely observe and draw. This way lay greatness.
Adrianna in Pomegranate

She was quick to anger, her hands tightening around the book—this book of all books, this book was what he huddled over in his madman’s cave—but she did not yell. She had always kept a better leash on her emotions, and her composure was more upsetting to him than her rage. She knew it, and gods help her, she used it.

It was unfair, the way he summoned her here for these tense bimonthly appointments. It was unfair, the way she persisted in showing up rather than sending an apprentice.
Audio Fiction Podcast:
Adrianna in Pomegranate
Play

Podcast: Download (Duration: 33:55 — 23.29MB)
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

It was unfair, the way he summoned her here for these tense bimonthly appointments. It was unfair, the way she persisted in showing up rather than sending an apprentice.
From the Archives:
The Sweetness of Honey and Rot
Jiteh lets her hand hover a breath away from the Boundary. Somewhere beyond, there are people who do not watch their brothers devoured by the Life Tree. There are people who do not praise.
Issue #270
Size / Zoom
To Stab with a Rose, to Love with a Knife

We used our mating knives to wound them, then married them for the year and nursed them back to health. They told us that people in their homeland mated forever. They had no use for wounds, no fear of healing. When they were strong enough to walk back home, a few of our own left with them, lured by that promise of wound-free love, that strange idea of permanence.

Then the night comes when the Lady summons me to her room and I go, I do.
Do Not Look Back, My Lion

Eefa looks back. Talaan is bed-tousled and half-dressed astride a yellow mare, her hair a tangled mane behind her (how many times has Eefa combed that hair, gently, in the glow of the fire?), her robe fallen open to the chest (the laundry Eefa washed the previous day, folded with lavender and cloves). Her feet are bare. She does not seem to feel the white-toothed wind nipping at her flesh.

“I will not feed another child to the Emperor. I will not.”
Audio Fiction Podcast:
To Stab with a Rose, to Love with a Knife
Play

Podcast: Download (Duration: 15:23 — 10.57MB)
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Then the night comes when the Lady summons me to her room and I go, I do.
From the Archives:
She Who Hungers, She Who Waits
Mei Huang repeats the rite so many times it becomes indistinguishable from breath, and still every iteration ends with the soldier dead.
Issue #269
Size / Zoom
The Deepest Notes of the Harp and Drum

I killed my sister with my own two hands. I am not sorry for it; she lied and cheated and stole, and if it had not been her it would have been me. Blood does not mean only one thing, the same across all boundaries. For my sister it meant nothing until I spilled hers, warm and wet and surprisingly copious, up to my elbows in it. Though I loved her, I killed her; though I loved her, she did not love me.

I killed my sister with my own two hands.
La Orpheline

Look: she is here, asleep in a row of plush seats in the Grande Salle. Above her soars the painted ceiling and the many chandeliers of the Opéra le Peletier, which is, in the brief time of this story, the national opera of France. Around her stand the members of the production company—the angular Costume Mistress, the rotund Directeur de Théâtre, the seamstresses and the members of the orchestra and the many brawny stagehands—all peering at her intently and holding their breath, as if she is a princess in a tale.

Look up, at the gilded carvings from which the curtains hang. Look: do you see that little brown face?
Audio Fiction Podcast:
The Deepest Notes of the Harp and Drum
Play

Podcast: Download (Duration: 22:51 — 15.69MB)
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

I killed my sister with my own two hands.
From the Archives:
Suite for Accompanied Cello
I won on my first attempt when I was fourteen; so long ago it seems meaningless.
text