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The Last Tree Nymph

The Last Tree Nymph by Tapanga Koe   Elma woke up covered in ash. She laid still in it, blinking away first the nightmare, and then the reality. The fire had flashed by, consuming her kin without hesitation. Darkened tree trunks with jagged tops encircled the edges of her vision in a nauseous dance. Embers glowed in their blackened remains. Her left hand tightened around the pouch on her chest. She ran her thumb over and over its cool silk. Within nestled twenty-one seeds, not one of which belonged to Mother. With great care, Elma stood. The world around...

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Into the Soft Fields

  Into the Soft Fields  By John A. Frochio   The fluid arms swiftly and gently deposited him into the shuttle pod and gracefully transferred him to the first slot in the docking module of the orbiting Titan station. The operation was smooth and seamless.  Of course!  He wrote the software that drove it! Maybe that’s why they called him out of retirement. They needed the best.  They needed Craig Colonna, software designer extraordinaire!  He might be old, overweight, short, hairy (pure white, well trimmed) and not too humble, but he was still pretty sharp. He didn’t usually boast...

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How a Ghost is Born

  How a Ghost is Born By S.J.Budd A mother knows of her own finite mortality the very moment she beholds the beauty encapsulated within her baby’s eyes. Then she knows and understands that the new life she has so lovingly created will take her place in the world that her true work has just begun. With time she’ll transform her clandestine dreams, delicate wishes and heavenly love to her child and they will transform their mother’s gifts into something new. Being even better than before, as every baby has always done for aeons and aeons. Jessica lay crumpled...

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Access Denied

  Access Denied By Thomas Pask   After being tasered, I picked myself up from the front doorway, where they left me, under the coat hooks. I must have hit my head when I fell, because I came to my senses in a patch of drool, staring at the heels of shoes, and scrambled to my feet like a sentry caught napping. Every muscle ached as if I’d been on an all-day workout, so I staggered to my bed where I lay until I sunk into exhausted sleep. I dreamt away the events of the morning until they’d happened...

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Faith

  Faith By Thomas J. Lauser Sequel to Business of Change http://aurorawolf.com/category/thomas-j-lauser/   Venomar hated executions. Not the practice itself, but performing them. Nonetheless, he viewed sentencing war criminals, traitors, and deserters as one of his most important duties as Arkresh of the Seragorn. No one else, he believed, should have to bear the great burden of forever silencing a former battle-brother. Especially when the battle-brother in question happened to be Venomar’s longtime second in command. He stood in the entryway of Vakera’s Barracks, waiting for Otak Vok’Ul, Pillager of Palmeria, to be brought over from Kaddek Prison. A...

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