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Art by David Revoy/ Blender Foundation

Far on the Ringing Plains

By Jeffery A. Sergent

“… and before the boat’s bottom had reached the rocky shore, Leonides leapt into the waiting warriors, his bright blade slicing armor, shield, flesh, and bone with a single pass.” The storyteller, perched atop a large stone, paused to give the images time to ferment in the imaginations of his audience.

“I heard he’s stronger than Herakles,” someone said.

“I heard his father was a god,” came another.

A red-haired youth whispered, “I heard he was a god.”

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Art by David Revoy/ Blender Foundation

Promised Land

By Rebecca Ann Jordan

“It will not come to that.”

“But what if it does?”

If it did, Ariadne would be out of the ruling family. She didn’t dare speak up. But she watched her father rub his neglected chin and silently listened to the voices in her head.

“We will attack at dawn.” Nightfall, then. Lies for the cameras hovering nearby, relics from before the End, rediscovered a decade ago. Polished up, now they relayed what the enemy saw and heard on the other side of the field. “And if it fails, we will propose a duel. Captain Halmon will fight.”

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Art by David Revoy/ Blender Foundation

The Razorblade Dragon

By Nathan James

To Benjamin the world seemed grey and dreary, and yet tinged with a dreamlike brightness that penetrated the dark. The boy would drift in and out of these observations, like a pendulum swinging between love and hate.

He had no purpose as far as he was concerned. His purposelessness was a blanket to him. He shrouded himself in it. If he didn’t try at anything, nothing mattered. So he slept and dreamed and prayed and sunk and dug and rose, and then slept some more.

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Art by David Revoy/ Blender Foundation

The Thrashed Wheat of Yellowed October

By Jacqueline Kharouf

Young Hollow dipped his bloody hands in the river. His horse stamped in the cold, and the yellow, tarnished leaves settled. Uncurling in the current, the blood seeped away from him. He turned his hands, rubbing at the blood around the edges of his nails and knuckles.

Young Hollow’s horse was gray and spotted white, with a white mane and tail, and dark brown eyes. He flicked his ears toward sounds Young Hollow couldn’t hear.

“A man approaches,” the horse said, his voice low and humming. He backed away from the water.

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Art by David Revoy/ Blender Foundation

Open the Doors, and See All the People

By Sarah Ennals

“First, God came for the Fundies, and I did nothing, because they’d been praying for Him to do that for decades.”

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It was just over two months since the Rapture, or what everyone was still calling the Rapture, even though those of us left behind weren’t being pelted with scorpions, there were no obvious candidates around for the Antichrist — though one or two attention-seekers had tried to claim they were — and life was generally getting back to normal.

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Art by David Revoy/ Blender Foundation

The Countess and the Bard

By Kyle Rader

The moment he first set foot in the home of Countess Morana, Regent to the King of Mesa, the Bard knew it would be the death of him.

The home was not in any state of disrepair. No cobwebs or dastardly looking servants with hunched-backs and bright eyes reflecting their bitter hatred to the world were milling about. It was the feel of the entire locale that sent foreboding chills down his spine.

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Art by David Revoy/ Blender Foundation

Moon’s Majesty

By Brendan Verville

She tightened the blindfold around her eyes and then tilted her head to the side, as if trying to look at something from another angle. She gripped the handle of her sword tight, her jaw working thoughtfully.

Walker watched her vain attempt at protecting herself and noted a meager elegance about her work. He saw a perfect balance. Her legs met at an acute angle as they crossed into the lotus position, and the sword in her hand acted as a weight to keep her grounded. Her back was to the water, and if she chose to let go of that weapon, which outsized her by more than a few pounds, she would go tumbling backward down the hill and into the sea. She couldn’t see the water crashing at her back, but she could hear it, and Walker was sure the noise filled her head.

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Art by David Revoy/ Blender Foundation

Time to Sell

By J. Rohr

“In a vial, ladies and gentlemen, I give it to you in a vial. Your own personal dose to do with as you please. Five minutes out of the day. Step right up and pay for the one thing you never thought you could buy back: Time!”
Dad said to take note of everything. “Especially your Uncle E. Nota bene. Never mind the man; he’s got faults like any of us, but he knows the business.” So, it’s best to keep my mouth shut and just listen to Uncle E.

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