Special double-issue for BCS Science-Fantasy Month 5, featuring two bonus stories and science-fantasy cover art “Investigate” by Andis Reinbergs.
Essarala learned of the traders from her cousins' gossip, and she lingered near the interpreters, watching and wishing. She longed to explore their ship and ask them to take her with them to the stars. But the more she listened, the more she learned, and one thing became obvious: their ship might carry water for its crew to drink, but it didn't contain water for a mer to live in.
“Step forward, Clare Askett,” said the butcher, so she did so. Before the ceremony she had inquired about the possibility of receiving her gift in private and had been told that was not an option. It didn’t help that it was her lot to receive such an unpleasant object. A toenail, no less. It had a laughable element to it. Would anyone snigger, or make a comment, as she approached?
I sloshed the nectar around in my mug and slurped it up as quickly as I could. The sickly-sweetness made my proboscis ache and my stomach churn. I dumped the chicken onto a roasting pan with some garlic and onions and opened the oven to get it cooking. “My soufflé!” Priscilla gasped and lunged for the door, but it was too late.
I have not been present at a hatching, other than, I suppose, my own. For a moment I watch the cracks grow and light begin to seep through, but I have been instructed to leave and my master’s task awaits. I will be miles and hours away, back at the workshop with Master Damon, before my sister emerges.