The Ritual

Jane hadn’t wanted me to come with her to the cottage at first. But I had always liked her mother. Now the old woman had died I would miss coming to see her. I came to help her clear the cottage of her mother’s belongings, so it wasn’t the happiest of times for Jane orContinue reading “The Ritual”

The Shadow and the Prey

It was a shadow that moved with its own life force, for its own purposes. It hung around in the dark places, waiting. It was a creature of the dark places, but it did not belong to the dark. It used the dark as other predators do, to satisfy its urges, to satiate its needs.Continue reading “The Shadow and the Prey”

Songs of Loss

‘Why do you only ever sing songs of loss,’ I asked her once. Shelda looked at me through half-closed eyes. ‘Because that is all there is.’ She raised a weary hand from under the thin sheet covering us. She waved towards the window. ‘Look around.’ I nodded. I didn’t need to look around. The cityContinue reading “Songs of Loss”

The Long Times

We will never forget these times. In the years long after we have gone to the far lands those that come after us, our children’s children and their children, will remember the long times. Already we are making the dances that will show these times, and the words for the songs of this time areContinue reading “The Long Times”

Any Kingdom

If I were the one telling this story, I would not begin here. There is too much that remains untold about her. For example, many call her Marily, but that was not her name, not then, not now. I was there. I was there at the real beginning of the story, and I am hereContinue reading “Any Kingdom”

Who Am I?

I stared at it. It wasn’t mine. I know hands do look very similar to each other. But this one wasn’t mine. Nor was my left hand when I looked at that. After all, I am thirty-seven. By now, I should know what my own hands look like. These weren’t them… either of them. ThereContinue reading “Who Am I?”

What the River Knows

‘What is it?’ Stumbling into the village, I lay my burden down on the ground near the central fire. ‘I found… in the river.’ I was breathless as I knelt by the side of it and unwound my cloak. ‘It’s a demon.’ I looked up, Krim made the sign of warding off evil as heContinue reading “What the River Knows”

Not Unusual in Itself

Ryan didn’t believe it. That was not unusual in itself. There were a good many things Ryan didn’t believe in, such as astrology, healing crystals, ideologies, Gaia, religions, politics, ghosts, reality television, fate and several other things he was too busy not to believe in at the moment. However, he did believe in an externalContinue reading “Not Unusual in Itself”

No More Stories

It used to be so easy. I would find the women. I would discover their closely-guarded secret. Then I would weave a story around that one thing they desired more than anything else. I would tell them the story I’d made for them. They would show their gratitude, happy someone had come along into theirContinue reading “No More Stories”

The Shadow Dancer

Sadjil was a Shadow Dancer. We met – if met is the right word – one night back in the Year of the Green Death. I was walking the streets unable to sleep. I’d lost my ability to dream after a bout of the sickness that bought the Green Death. Without my dreams to sellContinue reading “The Shadow Dancer”

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