Category Archives: Fiction

“Going My Way?” by D.L. Legere

“It’s not like I don’t deserve to be here—” I trailed off, bracing myself as another of the frequent sandstorms raged. On an open highway, with no shelter in sight, there was little I could do against the gale except squint my eyes and reserve the curses for later—assuming there was a later. But it ended as quickly as it began, and I shook the sand out of my hair, wiped my stinging eyes, emptied my boots, and continued walking in that order.

There was nothing else but to walk.

Although the sweat, more of a stink at this point, was a constant regardless of whether I was moving or standing still, the wheezing started again before I’d even covered another quarter-mile. The damn wheezing. I felt sand moving around in my lungs with a life of its own. I knew that eventually I’d be more sand than man, and then I, too, would join the breeze, hot and hateful.

Ash to ash, I thought. Dust to dust.

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Chapter III from “On The Graves of Dragons: A Journal of Sex, Elf Dust, and Magick in The City On The Cliffs,” by Raelin Saretti

Chapter III:  The Lady Is A Tramp

I had no time to waste, my lack of pants be damned.

Magick is often unpredictable, and there was no way to know how long the passageway would stay open.  What I did know was that Erik had gone through it, and that meant I was going to have to follow the motherfucker and beat my money out him tooth-by-god-damn-crooked-tooth.

I slung my pack over my back, scuttled up and over the railing, and shimmied down the pillar towards the magickal opening.  Running as fast as I could in heels using the tips of my toes, I charged my way in.

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Naked Astronaut, by W.Y. Johnson

A naked man wearing nothing but an astronaut’s helmet walks down a lonely stretch of highway. I first see him up ahead as a tiny speck, but each second brings more clarity in my vision. On an empty portion of burning pavement in pancake flat Kansas, this man steps toward his destination, whatever that might mean.

“You need a ride?” I ask through my open window, my car creaking to a standstill.

He opens the door and slides into the front seat, inches away from me. I can’t see his face through the copper-colored screen. I think: should’ve got those damn seat covers.

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“Where Time Dies” from Erased to be Remembered, by Brandon Arthur

Mountains fall into a valley; a bridge collapses into a river. A crooked worm noses into the split core of an apple and into the darkness of flesh …

The world and his mind are blotted and muffled but for the cries of a child and a mother’s voice. Like a cabin window approached at night a scene begins to grow in his vision and the shadowed interior of a one-room sod house rushes up and surrounds him, with the cackle of a fire the only light. The shape of a woman is seated before the flames on a low wooden stool, but all he can see is the black silhouette of her back. Softly she sings.

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After-Life, by Diego Valdez

 

Tony came because my mother had been a valuable customer.  I guess there’s no other way to describe a woman who’s dropped that kind of coin.  He hadn’t changed much since the last time I’d seen him all those years ago. Time had been generous to Tony.  He had slivers of silver through his hair — that was new — but he wore the same style dark suit and red tie I had seen him in the first time we’d met.  He was cool, calm, and never let his smile drop.  The qualities of every good salesman.

“What’s going to happen to my wife’s soul?!”

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Chapter II from “On The Graves of Dragons: A Journal of Sex, Elf Dust, and Magick in The City On The Cliffs,” by Raelin Saretti

Chapter II: The Red Rooster

The drugs had begun to have an effect.  The incessant chatter from the women ahead of me and the lizard’s heaving breathing produced uneasy rhythms that didn’t match, and it began affecting me more and more.  Chchch-huh-chch-huh-chchchch-huh-u-huh…the pattern became random, chaotic, violent.  I heard the piercing, echoing chirps of birds that rung off of the few walls that remained standing in this dead place, and my anxiety built to a dull roar as we passed by ruined home after ruined home.  This had been the place where the common folk had lived before He took over and killed every living soul, and even now five years after His defeat only a few looters and distant cousins in search of a few coins or a family heirloom had touched any of what remained of the buildings.

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Spirit of the City, by Todd Ferrante

It was 3:30 in the morning when she woke me in her usual, horrifying way – with a sharp throb in my chest that sent me immediately upright in bed.  Once awake the pain dissipated, while the sudden surge of adrenaline helped keep me from falling back asleep.  It wasn’t the most comforting wake-up call – I’d much prefer soft lighting and gentle music – but she needed me awake and alert, so it accomplished the goal.

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From “The Sleeper Awakes,” by H.G. Wells

INSOMNIA

One afternoon, at low water, Mr. Isbister, a young artist lodging at
Boscastle, walked from that place to the picturesque cove of Pentargen,
desiring to examine the caves there. Halfway down the precipitous path to
the Pentargen beach he came suddenly upon a man sitting in an attitude of
profound distress beneath a projecting mass of rock.

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On The Graves of Dragons: A Journal of Sex, Elf Dust, and Magick in The City On The Cliffs by Raelin Saretti

Chapter I:  Ten Gold

It was a dark and stormy night.  Or at least it had been.  Fuck, it’s hard to put the pieces together.  The afternoon had started with a strange type of gnome fungus, led to beers at The Salty Dog, then elf dust —  sweet merciful fuck, the elf dust.

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The Vanishing of Father Hessmas and the Appearance of Host the Mother, by Ahimaaz Rajesh

Two shadows met in the basement of a 22-story skyscraper and conversed in an all too human tongue. They were human and in an unlit corner they cast a spell of shadows to distant eyes. One was a female’s and the other a male’s for one’s laughter chimed and the other’s giggled.

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