“What’s the boss got for me today?” Gracey smirked and pointed toward the refrigerator. “In there, third shelf down. The bowl that’s got your name on it.” He slipped out of his white lab coat, rolled it into a ball, and tossed it in a laundry bin. “You’re gonna love it. There’s a real treat …

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Uplifted

The FBI man was young but everything about him was already scuffed and rumpled: his trench coat; his black leather boots; his indifferent gaze and standard-issue swagger. He loitered on the icy sidewalk outside the cathedral clutching a camera in his ungloved hands. The mobsters called out to him as they stepped out of their …

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The Loaner

In the Land of Opportunity, Sophie Wilkins lived in a shining seaside city called Important. Many of the residents of Important were simply Awesome, even by their own high standards. Not every resident could truly be accepted as Awesome, however. To be recognized as Awesome required a clear sense of Self-Importance, which was difficult to …

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Lyssa

The twin suns had just set on the refuge world when Lyssa Tri-Righa decided to end her brother’s life. She swept into the audience room and nobody could look her in the eye, reading her mood and purpose. Ariaen Kyle waited for her, a lithe figure who seemed to carry shadows with him. “All is …

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Locked In

Every morning when Rose opened her eyes, Aunt Milly was the first thing she saw. Aunt Milly’s face was round and plump, framed by cascades of honey curls; her breath was soft, almost feathery against Rose’s cheek. Aunt Milly whispered to Rose, sang to her, murmured stories into her ear. She bathed her, changed her …

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“Hush little one, hush. For soon the memories will begin to fade. Thoughts of battles fierce and brutal and of comrades lost will metamorphose into the sweet thoughts of the mortal young: of loving families, blankets comforting and soft, and bedtime stories. The preexistence where once you ruled will seem like nothing more than a …

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It is hard to understand the way I chose to die, unless you understand the way I lived. It is easy to write about forbidden love—in fact, isn’t that the very essence of every great story? Behind the wars, the valor and shame, behind the politics stand two people drowning in love. It certainly gets …

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In the memory clinic below the tree line, an android on the television said, “There are stories hiding underneath these mountains.” He was a humro, or humanoid robot; Mercy Stevens could tell by the smooth jade pebble inserted into his clavicle. The documentary cut to a panorama of Mt. Lassen’s crater, a purple depression in …

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The Mirror

The mirror around which my story revolves is not an ordinary mirror. It is a treasure passed down by the queens of fairyland to their daughters. Each princess receives the mirror on her thirteenth birthday and must protect it until her own daughter comes of age. When the mirror is well guarded, the fairies prosper. …

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