The nightmares had mostly stopped now, and my face only ached on hot days. I never looked at myself in the stream, so I wasn't sure what color the scars were, but my fingertips told me the skin was tough and dead. As for the rest, once I washed myself out with lemon juice, I just went on with my rituals in the temple, because someone had to. I tried not to remember.

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Read “Prashkina's Fire” by Vylar Kaftan, in Issue #48

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Vylar Kaftan writes speculative fiction of all genres, including science fiction, fantasy, horror, and slipstream. She’s published stories in places such as Clarkesworld Magazine, Realms of Fantasy, and Lightspeed. She founded a new SF/F convention in San Francisco called FOGcon ( Recently, she won the 2013 Nebula for her novella "The Weight of the Sunrise." She lives with her husband Shannon in northern California and blogs at

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