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“And Blow Them at the Moon,” by Marie Brennan
A church grim like Margat could taste death, scent it on the air, feel it in the marrow of her bones. Every mortal carried a little bit; death was always a possibility, from accident or disease. But sometimes the possibility grew stronger, closer, when a man stood at a fork in the road, then chose the path that led toward peril.
“Winecask Bellies and Owl Wings,” by Liz Coleman
So I made a horse. I made bones of iron and a mane of silk. Tendons of rubber from the king’s caravans. I gave it a belly made from a wine vat. Around this I wrapped a skin of black and brown velvet–brindled bars such as no horse had, but that would make a cage to contain its life. I would ride this horse to freedom, away from my prison to the wastes where I’d fly with my sisters on owl wings.
“Eighth Eye,” by Erin Cashier, from BCS #49
The spider creeps closer, dragging its meal behind. Moira counts its eyes again. Seven. The spider’s the only thing that has reality. It’s realer than she is, right now. She’s already on her way out–has been since the burns, really. She tries to breathe, but the wrappings are so tight, and the weight on her chest is so heavy.
“The Five Days of Justice Merriwell,” by Stephanie Burgis, from BCS #13
My voice sounds thin and choked when I speak. “Let the soldiers choose for themselves,” I say. “Let those who wish to flee leave now, in good faith. I will not have them stay to be murdered for a cause they cannot support. But let food and bandages be stockpiled through the day, and close the gates”–I almost say, at nightfall, but it is always night now–“before midnight. We will hold my father’s fortress until the last.”