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A double-issue to celebrate our eleventh anniversary! Featuring new cover art: “Athlerrod” by Ferdinand Dumago Ladera.

Portrait Of The Artist

It all comes down to such tiny differences; if I was one inch taller, then by standing on tiptoe and really, really straining, I could reach the apple on the branch. But when you lack it, one inch, half-inch, quarter-inch is the same as a mile. Depends where you're standing. In my line of work, we call it perspective. A quarter of an inch is all it takes to separate heaven from hell.

“I paint by the inner light,” I said. I tried to make it sound like I was being facetious.
Sankalpa

Starvation felt familiar. In my past life I had known how to endure it, how to live for months without the taste of food. I would not call on that knowledge now. My fixed intention was to die. Until a voice spoke from the air. It misunderstood the purpose of my fast, thinking I sought through austerity to accomplish some other end. It offered to grant my desire.

Again and again I died. Better to cut my thread short and start again than waste lifetimes on a path that would not lead me to my goal.
One Found in a World of the Lost

Desire exploded in the girl's heart at the mention of safety and stability, rest... She quashed it. What would she do in such a world? She was a hunter. But these were gifts that would benefit her pack, gifts worth taking risks for. Even if they came with a large sense of foreboding. "Can you make me invulnerable?" she replied, giving in to the image of her death, the boar's tusks sinking into her and what it would mean for them all if she did indeed die.

The girl shivered at the mention of that name: Pavitra. As if that were someone she should know.
The Witch of the Will

Too late did the witch understand what sort of comfort the boy had sought in having his free will removed. He had not wished to know his future but to become bound to it inexorably. In this way, he felt himself absolved. He stood helpless before the sorrow given to him and blameless in the wake of the sorrow he gave to others. Neither guilt nor grief had any power over him now. It left her speechless.

She embraced the one option left to her: not breaking the fate of another but bending it.
Audio Fiction Podcast:
Portrait Of The Artist
Play

Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:14:32 — 51.18MB)
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“I paint by the inner light,” I said. I tried to make it sound like I was being facetious.
Audio Fiction Podcast:
Sankalpa
Play

Podcast: Download (Duration: 27:34 — 18.93MB)
Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Again and again I died. Better to cut my thread short and start again than waste lifetimes on a path that would not lead me to my goal.
From the Archives:
The Thought That Counts
For once in my life, I could walk down the street without looking for places to run to if I heard someone yell my name.