There is greater magic still he could deploy. He could weave an illusion that would swallow the tree from sight. Or let his heartbeat ease down into a shallow nothing—the stillness of the grave—so no sound or motion could betray him. But he resists. Ezekiel is curious. Lyla was sure-footed on the journey, in the dark. How long will it take for her to learn his hiding-place?

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Read “Nightshade” by J.W. Halicks, in Issue #222

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J.W. Halicks lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and several overcrowded bookcases. “Nightshade” is his first published short story. Find him on the web at

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