Born in a Maze

Jamie was born with a rather unusual birthmark. It had the look of a tree’s inner rings, almost a perfect circle on his wrist just below his palm. The uniqueness of it got a lot of attention as he grew up, but he himself never paid it much mind. It was as familiar as the top of his nose, and not worth staring at. He was nine before he noticed there […]

Double Decaf

Jenny could always tell which of her customers wanted to die, even before they placed the order. It was rare that a suicidal customer visited her cafe, though. Usually they came for the same sludge they always came for. When a very chipper young man slid into the cafe, as bright and cheery as the bells on the door, Jenny thought he might be looking for something sweet, like a […]

Rising from the Fall

The ground shook, the earth opened up, and down I fell. You know that feeling you get when you have a bad night tossing and turning and when it’s morning it feels like time passed somewhere but you don’t remember sleeping? While I was falling, it felt like that. Forever, until I hit the bottom and wondered if I lost time somewhere along the way. Thankfully someone saw me fall, or […]

Escape from Magic

The Statue of Wizardry stood watch over the bustling metropolis of New York. On those rare days when the skies were clear and the mana smog wasn’t so thick and it hadn’t rained the night before, Booker Darrow could look out the window of his apartment and see the three-hundred foot copper Merlin out there on Wizardry Island overlooking New York Harbor, grimoire in tow and burning wand raised high. […]

The Blind Leading

Most lightbringers could see in any form of light–they could stare directly at the sun for hours with no ill effects. To control light meant mastery of it, including how much of it the eye took in. Lightbringers were only blind in darkness. Except for Albert the Blind. A born lightbringer, and born blind, Albert had no concept of light or dark the way most people did. He felt light as warmth, […]

Smash and Grab

Gary from next door got a new car, a real midlife crisis-mobile. This lengthy hotrod red number. Even my wife drooled. Goddamned eyesore, I thought. Lower middle-class house in a lower middle-class suburban neighbourhood, and then there’s this fucking million dollar sports car convertible in a cracked driveway. It was incongruous is what it was. We never had a lot of problems with thieves in this part of town, so […]

Take Your Time

“Do I really need to do this?” Jamison asked when the doctor handed him a cup. “Do you not have to go?” the doctor asked like she was genuinely curious. “I do,” said Jameson after some consideration, “but this whole enterprise seems unnecessary.” The doctor waved her blue-gloved hand. “The restroom is over there. Please collect the sample mid-stream.” Then she busied herself with some equipment. Jamison was looking for a […]

The Soaring Land

Sometimes there was a lot of sky between flying islands. Captain Razo Corbeau and his crew wore a lot of hats; sometimes they were pathfinders, sometimes they were scouts, sometimes they were treasure hunters, and sometimes they were privateers. Unless they were caught–in which case, they were pirates. Officially. Their current mission required them to seek a sky-level island that was growing in distance from where it was last spotted. […]

Storm Racer

My mom owned a mobile home, and she always drove so far beneath the speed limit the only thing we could do was sleep, or else we’d get mad at her for driving so slow. “I’m winning the race against all the other homes,” she’d say, cackling to herself. We never laughed back. Then one day a storm rolled in—black skies, thunder and lightning, funnel clouds, the works. Rain and […]

Judgemental

I reached the end of my life and it was time for my performance review. “Robert MacMillan,” said the Judge. “Made it to 98. Not bad. You clearly took care of yourself.” “Thanks,” I said. The Judge waved it off. “I’m only here for facts. I looked in on you from time to time–I’m assigned to a million mortals at once, so you’ll forgive me if I skipped a phew phases […]