The sandstorm had blanketed the world the night before. Sand hung still on the leaves of the palm trees; sand sat on a skim atop the water; sand pillowed against rocks. Grains swept the crevices of palm trees, shone like jewels in the sun.

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Read “The Fires of Mercy” by Spencer Ellsworth, in Issue #171

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Spencer Ellsworth wrote his first novel at seven years old and never recovered. He is the author of The Great Faerie Strike, out in August 2019 from Broken Eye Books, about a union leader gnome and plucky journalist vampire who join forces to take on the alchemists and sorcerers industrializing the Otherworld, and the Starfire Trilogy from Tor Books, and many short stories and other works appearing in Fantasy & Science Fiction, Michael Moorcock's New Worlds, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and others. He has also worked in wilderness survival, special education, and at a literary agency. He is married to fantasy artist Chrissy Ellsworth and is the proud father of Adia and Samwise Ellsworth. He lives at

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