“The Mansion of Bones,” by Richard Parks
Kenji began to chant. It might have been a passage from the Diamond Sutra; I was not pious enough to know one book of Buddhist scripture from another, but Kenji, despite his flaws, knew nearly all of them and could recite the appropriate passages at will. Which he was doing now. The shadow moved away from us toward the outbuilding as we stepped out onto the rear veranda, always keeping the structure to its back, or such I judged its back to be. It was hard to be certain with something so close to formless.
“Havoc,” by A.C. Smart & Quinn Braver
And then some nights we’d cross the river. Cumberan soldiers would discover that someone had insinuated flux-weed into their pottage greens, and in the dark end up with handfuls of nettles with which to wipe. Baskets, lobbed into a bivouac as supper was served, broke apart, freeing swarms of hornets. Spores of certain fungi, introduced into casks of wine, sent soldiers shrieking and stumbling in panic through the woods. And the polecats....
The Winner of our Second Reader Poll to Choose a Past Story to Podcast:
“Haxan,” by Kenneth Mark Hoover, from Issue #13
“No, I’m talking about real people. Flesh and blood like you and me. They’re taken from places they call home and sent into this stormy sea to help calm the waters. It never ends because it’s the storm itself, the unending conflict, that makes the world we know a reality. Along with all the other worlds that could be.”