“Bread and Circuses,” by Genevieve Valentine
Why an armed man should have been the one worrying, she never explained, but I had seen the tumblers tossing one another in the air and the strongman lifting all six dancing girls on his outstretched arms like they were no heavier than a pair of sleeves. I could guess what would happen to anyone who was caught out.
“The Popinjay’s Daughter,” by Anne Cross
Every time I opened it, it felt as if I were opening one of the House’s doors, and indeed, the book was filled with pictures of them, marked with strange glyphs and sigils. Hundreds of times, I painstakingly copied the diagrams onto doors in the attic, and always there was a sense of impending something. Yet when I opened the doors, the symbols would vanish, and the door would be just a door.
“Dying on the Elephant Road,” by Steve Rasnic Tem, from BCS #54
Abe experienced the odd sensation of Madame Oljon inside his head aligning her face with his, pushing eyes and lips forward past his own as they both stared at the small figure near the center of the room sitting cross-legged on a high cushion, naked save for a loincloth, smiling idiotically (not unlike, Abe thought, the wizard Philoneus’s own idiotic smile).
The man’s head swung wildly, his fingers grasping towards the straining netted bundle. The touch of the God on an unholy man was not pretty. Halla could sense it, crackling the air from the Mouth to the man. It was a compulsion that filled him with blood lust, blanketed his mind with one urge: kill the dove.