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Short Story Series

“A Tale of Two Tarōs”

The boy’s name was Tarō, and he lived on Urashima. Men there were fishermen, mostly, and boys learned that trade from their fathers and grandfathers; but this Tarō was not a fisherman, because he had neither father nor grandfather to teach him. He was an orphan, and a beggar, and sometimes a petty thief — […]

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“Crafting Chimera”

They didn’t call John in until the bullets had finished flying, until everyone who was going to surrender had surrendered and everyone who was going to die had died. By that point, of course, Catherine was long gone. This is another piece of mine inspired by a role-playing game, though rather tangentially. I played a […]

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“The Memories Rise to Hunt”

They rise each night from stains in the concrete, from shadows in the stone. Earth and grass cannot hold these memories: time passes, the soil changes, the grass grows and dies, and the pain decays from memory, to an echo, to nothing. Concrete and stone do not forget. It’s not visible to anyone other than […]

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“Silver Necklace, Golden Ring”

“He takes them for his servants, and never after are they seen again.” That was how the tale used to end, told by grannies at the fire, by performers at the fair. This story traveled a very odd path. It started out with me wanting to write a story based on the Russian folktale about […]

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“At the Heart of Each Pearl Lies a Grain of Sand”

During the reign of the famed Caliph Harun al-Rashid, the world was a different and more wondrous place. My folklore-based tales are usually inspired by me finding an odd, unexplained crack in the narrative. In this case, it’s a story from the Thousand and One Nights that gives backstory for two of the three sisters […]

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“Oh, My Cursed Daughter”

Oh, my darling daughter. You cannot trust him; you cannot trust them. You cannot ever trust them. It’s rare for me to completely rewrite a story. Revise, yes — sometimes fairly substantially — but only a handful of times have I taken an entirely new run at a concept. Most of the time when it […]

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“The Me of Perfect Sight”

The hall of the Abzu-temple was impossibly vast, and impossibly full. On shelves to either side, on tables down the center, stood the holy me: the decrees of Anu, the supreme god of the land between the rivers, which made all things of the world come into being. As you may have noticed, this is […]

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“Two for the Path”

The proverbial “message in a bottle” is supposed to wash up on a seashore. The one I receive comes by river instead — by river and by ally — and both of those are strokes of luck. I don’t recall what made this idea wander into my head, but I know it happened ages ago, […]

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“Then Bide You There”

That afternoon there had been a fair, with jugglers and dancing and the storyteller plying her trade. When night fell the fair did not end, but the storyteller was tired, and the blacksmith insisted on walking her home. This might be the closest I’ve come to writing hatefic. It’s inspired by the folksong “The Two […]

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