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Short Stories

“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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“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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“This Living Hand”

The tree was right where the old poet said it would be. This was one of the first pieces of Onyx Court short fiction I had a concept for, but it took me over a decade to write. The reason for that was research: I needed to know more about the English Romantic poets, but […]

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“And Ask No Leave of Thee”

I’m the kind of person who, soon as you tell me not to do something, I do it. Because fuck you, even if you are a friend. And Tia wasn’t that much of a friend. I’ve had a fascination with the Scottish border ballad “Tam Lin” since I was a kid, courtesy of Diana Wynne […]

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“Ghost and Fox”

It was to be expected, the doctor said, after such a close call as yours. He spoke in learned terms of excesses of yin, of meridians and flows, stagnation in the blood that he had put right. The woman they said was your mother listened and nodded and paid him with taels of silver, thanking […]

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