Author: admin

Softwing

Softwing by Chandelle Lance The cloth pinched tight over my eyes.  Someone held my hand.  Too small to be my mother’s hand, but she was my guardian so she must have been there somewhere too. The ground uneven beneath my feet as we walked; lifting in subtle rises and falling dips. The grass brushed against my arms, teasing and tickling. I resisted the urge to ask how much further.  I was ten now and began the journey of my name trial.  I would do whatever task the Chapa had appointed.  My stomach fluttered at the thought of being away...

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Danny O’Leary: Steamfitter’s Apprentice

Danny O’Leary: Steamfitter’s Apprentice by Mark Wolf Art by Lars Opland Danny O’Leary leaned out from the airship’s balloon rigging, inhaling deeply of the ozone in the afternoon thunderclouds, and reveling in the rising winds. He watched the rig-rats, envying the duties of those sailors that clambered about the rigging, raising and lowering sails, and repairing the outer skin of the balloon. In the near distance, lightning leapt from one cloud to another. The resulting thunder made Danny scream in joyful terror as he hooked his peg leg behind the spar of a stud sail for a more secure...

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Why Spearfinger No Longer Stalks These Mountains

Why Spearfinger No Longer Stalks These Mountains by Lawrence Barker Young Corn Tassel ran through the darkened forest, moccasin clad feet crushing pungent meadow garlic plants beneath them. His heart pounded harder than it ever had throwing smooth stone balls in the game of Digadayosdi. What he now did was no game. Despite the light of the crescent moon hanging over Dahlonega Mountain, the risk of colliding with a hickory or chestnut tree remained. That could prove fatal . . . or worse. Had the thing that reared from of the darkness a few moments ago, sending him running, really been Spearfinger? Spearfinger was the most dreaded of the Devouring Spirits that plagued the Aniyunwiya; or, as their neighbors called his people, the Cherokee. The sound of something pursuing him, crashing noisily through the brush, made him fear that it was so. If Spearfinger caught him, her long, sharp, stone finger would pierce his liver. No matter how tiny, he would die as soon as a chunk reached Spearfinger’s mouth. Not only that, but Spearfinger would be able to take his form. Even worse, Spearfinger would know everything that Corn Tassel knew. That included where his parents, Red Clay and Grouse, and his younger sister, Startled Deer, lived. Once Spearfinger started, she rarely stopped until she had claimed an entire family. For the dozenth time since his wild race...

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Of Dragons and Courage

Of Dragons and Courage By George Stewart Art by Richard Mandrachio For as long as he could remember, James was afraid.  He was afraid of spiders, bullies, talking to girls, and giving reports in class.  There were other things, but these were the top four.  People seemed to sense the fear in him and would ridicule him or harass him over his fears.  He had spent the past 17 years running from whatever frightened him.  He missed going to his junior prom last weekend because he was afraid to ask a girl out and was afraid to go by himself.  He didn’t quite know why he was so afraid.  Well, spiders were easy to figure out as well as bullies.  Girls were a mystery to him, and he didn’t know how to act around them.  And everyone was afraid of speaking in public, right?  James knew that if he ever had to give a report on spiders in front of his classroom full of girls and the bullies who taunted him, he would just melt into his shoes or fall over dead. The week ended much as many others had.  On Friday, he was shoved into a locker while some of the girls’ volleyball team watched and laughed at him.  He pulled himself up and out of the locker and made his way home.  On the way home, he...

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The Temporary Wizard of Locklynn

The Temporary Wizard of Locklynn by S.G. Rogers “You’re a woman,” the Mayor said. “You can’t be a wizard.” Ilene sighed. She’d heard that before, at the last six villages she’d visited. The people of Yden were really behind the times. Nevertheless, she had to be polite. “I most certainly am a wizard,” she replied, with a winning smile. “My name is Ilene McMillan of the Eagle Clan and I was trained by Quixoran.” “The Dragon Clan wizard himself, huh? Well, it doesn’t matter. We’ve already got a wizard working for us. Locklynn is a small town and we...

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