The Best of BCS, Year Two anthology now available
“The Governess and the Lobster,” by Margaret Ronald
What that profession might be, I would hesitate to explain had you not explicitly stated that you are unconcerned with my history. Pietro is what the many travelers through Harkuma refer to as a facilis or, commonly, “greaser.” He makes his living by arranging contact between the various human merchants and the automata of Akkuma. If a person wishes to visit Akkuma, he must do so in the company of one of these faciles who will vouch for him, undertake the shipment of water, even make business connections, as well as make certain the entrepreneur adheres to all standards of conduct.
“Shades of Amber,” by Marie Croke
Some in the tribe shaded in low spectrum colors that Ferr’s mind couldn’t remain stable after losing so much from her sickness. Amm asked if they thought her unstable as well, given that even with the loss, Ferr still had a wider range than Amm. They averted their gaze as she shaded, pretending to have never seen the question.
“A Marble for the Drowning River,” by Ann Chatham, from BCS #94
I held out my hand with the marble in it, and the drowned girl reached out her long fingers and lifted it gently out of my palm, not even touching me with one of her fingernails. She rolled it in her hand for a moment, looking into the misty shadows in the glass, and then swallowed it, grinning almost like she was still human.
“The Girl Who Tasted the Sea,” by Sarah L. Edwards, from BCS #53 and Audio Fiction Podcast 046
A lift of a wing and their soaring arc encompassed the whole of the house. They swung around it and Abby could see them now, the twin pillars of stone upon which she’d lived all her life. Suddenly she was dropping nearer, nearer, and then they landed in the carved hollow in one pillar just a foot above the tide. She ignored the trembling in her legs as she crouched at the edge and dipped her fingers in the water.