Our fifth year kicks off with this extra-large collection of stellar stories. This issue is filled with themes of sacrifice, life, death, and those who manage to stick around long past their sell-by date.

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I’m sitting in the lunchroom at my day job as I type this. As I do my best to block out those talking around me and think about being home with my cat, working on this issue you are now reading, I am also pondering growth and change and evolution. Change is in the air. …

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De cornice …prophets say that crows can tell the future, can detect where ambushes have been laid…   The Morrigan was not really her grandmother, not by blood. Einin knew this, knew she had been fostered, knew she had been lucky to be kept with a woman who wanted her, who doted and cuddled and …

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“Esther is the spice of life.” Mama told me and I believed her. But Mama went to her grave a long time ago and Harold died three years ago. My son George moved to the other side of the world where the kookaburra laughs and the dildos play, or some such, and I’ve become nothing …

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My eyes opened on a room flooded in turquoise light, the hill of my body under starched sheets. A machine blipped. My arms felt heavy. The left one hurt. My mouth was dry. A man craned toward my bedside from a green chair. Tears slid down his cheek. He smiled open-mouthed, anticipating something, as he …

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One quick bite to the throat. That’s all it takes, my darling. They’ll bleed and die like any other creature. The people are stupid. They think they are the only ones whose babies are taken by the Tylwyth Teg. They do anything they can think of to prevent it–make a sign like a cross, hang …

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Two days after Henny walked through the hatch to be eaten, I realised we were in trouble. Those of us left, I mean. Kel and me. Despite boosting speed as much as possible, we weren’t going to reach Earth before itneeded to eat again. Kel and I managed to ignore this reality until the howls from …

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Papa

The cemetery gate was cool beneath her fingers, the wrought iron smooth. A fine, warm mist beaded on the metal, rolling across her hand, turning the lavender silk at her wrist a deeper purple. With a soft clink, the latch lifted. The moon peeked out from behind fat gray clouds for a moment, watching, and …

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As soon as Harry signed on for his second stint, he regretted it. It wasn’t that it was exactly lonely. He could stay connected as he wanted to the hive mind. It was the pull to go outside. The reason he’d signed up again and the reason he knew he shouldn’t have. It was farmland …

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Evening was our favorite porch sitting time. Mama rocking in her chair, the same chair that rocked the croup out of me when I was little. The same chair when we cried our eyes out after we found out Daddy had gone to meet his Maker. The same chair when Mama told me she was …

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