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A Dragon’s Prerogative

A Dragon’s Prerogative by Mark Wolf Art by Jack S. Rogers The dragon’s egg glowed with a golden hue. This fact amazed the beast that had laid it; so much so, she gave it more attention than she did her other eggs. If the other eggs hatched as remarkable a dragon as this one might, it would have surprised the mother.  When the egg finally did hatch, days after all the others, the mother hovered over the young golden dragonet, breathing hot steamy breath on her to keep her warm. The other young drakes had long since flown off to make their way in the world as soon as their wings dried. They would raise havoc in the villages of the humans around the snowy mountains for weeks to come.  Most would be killed by human and Elven alike. The few that survived would become crafty and live longer to fight and die in competition for territory and mates. These survivors would choose their own names if they lived long enough to develop an intellect above their primal instincts. However, this special dragon telepathically proclaimed herself, Mist, just a few hours after hatching. The mother dragon’s curiosity drove her to finally ask. “Why Mist?” “Why not, Mother?” Mist mentally projected her answer. “It is my first impression. You have kept me warm with your steamy hot breath.” “I don’t...

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A Home Invasion

A Home Invasion by Alex F. Fayle Unlike most magic wardrobes, mine just led down to the kitchen, which was great for midnight snacking but not so good when you’re barricaded in your bedroom hiding from a houseful of pixies looking for someone to help. At least the kids were at their father’s and I only had to worry about my stupid sister Marilyn. The pixie home invasion was all her fault, what with her insisting on putting a saucer of milk outside the door before going to bed. “Don’t do that,” I told her. “This isn’t the suburbs...

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When The Shoe Won’t Fit

When the Shoe Won’t Fit By Margaret McGaffey Fisk   Tiptoe pushed the cradle, her stiff overalls rustling with the movement.  Her large, flat foot almost crushed the delicate vines making up the cradle’s form.  “Hush, little one.  I’m here.” She looked down at the cherry red face of her newest charge and frowned.  Tiptoe could feel heat radiating from the infant.  She’d never seen a fairy grow hot before, or turn red.  The warmth pulled her closer, so different from the chill most fairies radiated. Stroking his face, she cooed at the baby and rocked the cradle in time to...

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These Hands

These Hands by Shaun Ryan   I wait in shadows, head bowed.  Outside, in the sun’s blessed light, the crowd roars its delight as some man or beast meets their end.  Steel clashes against steel, a song that sings in my blood.  My heart quickens as brass trumpets blow a glorious fanfare.  The prince has arrived. My nephew, Galen, who serves as my arms bearer, hands me a ribbon of crimson silk.  He is my brother’s son, orphaned now, my charge. Standing, I whisper a final prayer to my grandfathers and tie the fabric around my brow.  The crowd loves this minor affectation.  It is part of my character, my trademark, but serves a practical purpose as well.  When the heat of battle is upon me, it will prevent the sweat of my efforts from blinding me at the worst moment.  I check my sword belt and scabbard, making certain they are secure.  The battered leather greaves receive the same careful scrutiny, as do my boots.  The sword remains sheathed.  I have no doubt as to the weapon’s state of repair.  It is a part of me, handed down from father to son since the beginnings of my family’s long, bloody history. Far down the dim corridor, a gate crashes open, stout oaken planks meeting ancient stone with force.  The booming echo rolls past on a breath of hot...

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