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Art by David Revoy/ Blender Foundation

In Season

By Michael Haynes

The trail led Lisa to a clearing at the top of a hill. Winter sunshine lit the beginning of her walk several miles back, but clouds now prevailed and the afternoon was dim. A large flat outcropping of rock arose from the apex of the hill. Lisa perched on its edge, took a drink of water, and removed her ball cap, wiping away a hint of sweat. Closing her eyes for a moment she opened herself to the ambient sounds — a rustle of leaves, some insect chirps.

When she stood up she saw a boy standing at the edge of the clearing. He appeared to be on the cusp of adolescence, but was short for that age. He looked uncomfortable; the t-shirt he wore doubtless would have felt warm enough in the mid-day sun, but it would not have kept away the afternoon chill.

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Art by David Revoy/ Blender Foundation

A Helpful Stranger

By David Malone

These were always the tensest moments of any job. The long, silent minutes during which the revolving doors and calm facade of the stone building hid the cacophony of shouted orders and threats within. It was in these moments of suffocating solitude, sitting in an idling car, that McClane could not help but ponder how this all came to be.

People-watching helped to pass the time. It helped to keep his foot away from the gas pedal and his hand away from the shifter. It helped to keep his mind from asking the questions he did not want answered. He often played a game to keep his mind occupied, in which he picked the most unique person he could find on the street and created a backstory explaining their presence there that day.

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Art by David Revoy/ Blender Foundation

The Piano Spinner

By Hayley Chewins

Madd is ten when he hears the world stop turning, standing in his red gumboots in the center of Wednesday’s busiest slum. No one else seems to notice the chickens walking in neat circles, the trees bent in still air, the rain pouring down from a bright, cloudless sky.

But he does.

His mother comes home most evenings. Makes dinner and strokes his head. Afterwards, he is allowed to sit for a while on the roof of the shack, watching stars circling.

Not tonight.

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Art by David Revoy/ Blender Foundation

Miracle Boy

By SJ Sindu

I sat behind him the day he grew wings. I always seemed to be behind him — in class, in line during morning prayer — maybe that’s why I noticed him in the first place, before the wings, before everyone else did.

He was in my third grade class. Red sand always coated his legs, garish against his blue-black skin. He took off his shoes to play in the courtyard at recess, and kicked up the sand where grass refused to grow under the tropical Sri Lankan sun. His friends played cricket. They ran and yelled and boasted under the watchful eyes of the girls who stood by the swings. But he just kicked and kicked at the sand, watching the dusty clouds his feet made.

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Art by David Revoy/ Blender Foundation

Weep into My Body

By Desmond Fox

Fei stood frozen in the black waters of the deadlands. His infant daughter, secured in the cradleboard held tight in her mother’s arms, wept moon-sized tears.

“Fei, you have to take her.” Lin spoke in a muted whisper, body still, knee-deep in black sea. Her face twisted into a strained smile, stirring a false comfort in Fei’s heart.

Fei shook with anger and fear as he watched the waters crawl up his wife’s legs. Slowly, the hungry black ocean crept up Lin’s body, forcing her knees to buckle with invisible pressure.

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Art by David Revoy/ Blender Foundation

Bombardier

By K. Edwin Fritz

Not everyone knows it, but perpetual motion is possible. And to manage the feat you need only follow the five simple steps detailed below. But before you read on, be forewarned. Venturing into a world that defies the laws of known reality cannot be undone. It is enormous, this thing. Like an infection that never runs dry of food.

~~~~~

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Art by David Revoy/ Blender Foundation

One Hour Empire

By Tim West

3:04 AM

She was the first to arrive, but she wouldn’t be the last.

Since this phenomenon had begun, she was always my favorite. I wasn’t in love with her, just captivated by her presence. I couldn’t remember her name, Jeanette or Jacqueline, but she was fairly tall, had brown hair with blonde bangs, some acne scars on her forehead, and a tattoo on her forearm. Maybe more than any other of them, she appeared the most intense — the eyes say a lot. Regardless, she always said hello to me every time she woke up.

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Art by David Revoy/ Blender Foundation

The Vilkacis

By Konstantine Paradias

“Pa! Billy-Bob is eatin’ roadkill again!” said little Jemima, as she watched her older brother tear at the rabbit carcass that had been transfixed to the pavement by virtue of a passing eighteen-wheeler.

Jebediah Vilkacis, hard at work scolding his youngest son, stopped mid-rant and broke into a four-legged sprint at his eldest.

“What the hell you think yer doin’, son?”

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Art by David Revoy/ Blender Foundation

Berryblack

By Jez Patterson

“I wasn’t expecting you so soon.”

“When we got your email, we were so intrigued we wanted to see it right away.”

“Of course,” Marion said. The two men were young, clean-shaven, and although not dressed in suits, were so smart as to look like they could either be on the way to church or a gallery opening.

Except it was Saturday, not yet midday. They were prompt though — she’d only sent the email yesterday afternoon.

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