Ukeme knelt again at the table, took brush in hand, and paused above the first sheet of reed-paper. He wondered why he felt such hesitation. Words woven in cloth could protect bodies and hold spells; words on paper were merely words. But words on this paper could make him a scholar.

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Read “The Examination Cloth” by Jonathan Edelstein, in Issue #251

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Jonathan Edelstein is forty-seven years old, married with cat, and living in New York City. In addition to BCS, his work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Escape Pod, Intergalactic Medicine Show, and the Lacuna Journal, and he blogs occasionally at He counts Ursula Le Guin and Bernard Cornwell among his inspirations, and when he isn’t writing, he practices law and hopes someday to get it right.

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