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Fantasy

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Eyes of Wood, Heart of Stone

“Are you the Queen of Faerie?” The human child, wearing nothing but his nightshirt, can’t have seen more than six summers. Wide brown eyes beneath a mop of straw-blond hair ignore the wonders of my court, staring only at me. “You’ve found me out.” I slip a nightshade berry between my lips. The sharp poison […]

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Dragon Meat

My dragon, Rolly, died. It’s all right—I’m not sad about it, whatever anyone says. I’m tougher than that. She was old and grumpy. Her time had come. The good thing is, one dead dragon makes a shed-load of dragon meat and that is impressive in the right circles. As soon as Rolly passed, our nearest […]

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The Ghost In Angelica’s Room

Dad still comes into my room at night, even though he’s dead. I don’t know why he bothers, but he does. First time it happened, I thought I imagined him. But I can hear his breathing, can feel the mattress shift when he sits down on my bed next to Winston, who purrs and tucks […]

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Illustration of man and woman kissing by Dario Bijelac

The Hole Where Andy Used to Be

The hole where Andy used to be came downstairs and sat at the kitchen table. I served him a plate of eggs before I remembered the hole never ate. As I took it back to place in the fridge, I felt like a fool. Not much later, I found the hole where Andy used to […]

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Mother’s Rules for a Burned Girl

When the dragon drops from the sky and torches the tiny fishing town, Rona does not approach. Instead, she grits her teeth and watches. She digs her fingernails into her palms until they bleed, tamping down her urge to run forward. “Remember the rules,” Rona whispers, watching the smoke. Rona doesn’t move, not even when […]

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Excerpt from the Diagnostic and Necromantic Manual, 5th edition Regarding the Departed

4.200 – Reuniting with Departed Lovers, Pets, and/or Network-enabled Electronic Devices, Alternate Methods for In some rare cases, the methods laid out by section 4.100 (Classic Necromantic Rituals) will fail to return loved ones—or their devices—to life.  In such instances, the practitioner or her client may feel the onset of despair.  As though caught in […]

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A dark woods for the December cover of Flash Fiction Online

The First Stop Is Always the Last

John Wiswell   MONDAY, APRIL 10 The first stop on Selma’s route was equidistant between the mall and the cemetery. Zoning was weird out here. People of shapes she’d never seen streamed down the sidewalk, all in black suits or black dresses. One broke from the crowd and boarded Selma’s bus. The woman climbed up […]

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Baker

Rafael closed the bakery at precisely 4 pm and turned the key in the lock. In his arms, he cradled the last of the bread remaining: two baguettes and one round sourdough–all the ordinary kind. He walked up the street and around the corner to the homeless shelter, scouting, as he always did, half in […]

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Art by Dario Bijelac

Claire Weinraub’s Top Five Sea Monster Stories (For Allie)

“Upon the Waves,” by Bethany Kano. This story was included in an anthology you bought on our fifth date, when we hit up Chicago’s FantastiCon. You laid our day’s haul (enough books to fill a suitcase or four) on the hotel bed and immediately began reading. “Holy. Crap,” you said after a while. “You need […]

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Art by Dario Bijelac

Monsters

At night, the monsters come. Niko lies awake and watches them circle, long spider legs black-on-black, fangs somehow gleaming without a hint of light. He pulls Daria closer, buries his face in her wispy blonde hair and breathes in, breathes out. They keep their distance while he holds her, but when he closes his eyes, […]

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