AU,  Epic,  Historical,  Urban,  Magical Realism, Steampunk,

Here for the Reading 2019:

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For January 27, the 75th anniversary of the lifting of the siege of Leningrad,
we have in FantasyThe Ice Angel of Leningrad“, by Eugene Morgulis

This story is dedicated to and inspired by the author’s grandmother, who lived through the Siege of Leningrad.

Beginning in 1941, the city of Leningrad suffered through a brutal 900-day siege at the hands of the German army. Nearly half its three million citizens were killed by bombs, freezing temperatures, or most often, starvation. Those who managed to survive did so in a number of ways, some unsavory, others unspeakable. But none as remarkable as Sveta Gorskaya’s way.

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May 30, 2018, Fantasy: “Cat and Mouse” by L.C Brown

So I’m out front of Jaxon’s, down in the French Quarter, singing for my supper.  For some fool-headed reason he lets this old cat sit on his doorstep and wail on her trumpet, just like in the old days, even though both of us could get taken for it.

So I’m singing for my supper. Me an’ my trumpet, making the magic them tourists wanna hear. They don’t want no sad songs no more. They want happy tunes these days, blues that sounds more like yellows and greens. So I give it to ’em, and they give me a couple credits, and we all walk away happy.

But not today. Today, the Silence finally finds me.

March 22, 2018, Fantasy: “Liqeni i Zi” by Corey Mallonee  
Ela and Ismail spent evenings huddled around a crackling radio, listening to news of the invaders, men who had drilled into their own skulls and grafted bronze masks to their faces. Of hungry bullets etched with curling script, which burrowed through flesh to the heart.

Often, in those days, Ela would sit on the bare stony shore of the lake and look out at the ruined temple, columns like broken bones guarding an altar of black stone where the village ancestors had sacrificed sheep and goats and sometimes men. Where, she was told, men would waken the gods.

Here for the Reading 2017:

Some stories are free to read, For all others, you can subscribe here!

Dec 28, 2017: Fantasy, “Revolution Days”, by Gary Kloster

Xin believed that on Revolution Day, she would kneel in the courtyard of Prosperity House and feel the razor’s touch.

Instead, a black car brought her and Scholar Tan to Smiling House, home of the Honest Guard. Men with white uniforms and black clubs escorted them into the towering building where the enemies of the Path were interrogated, judged, and executed.

On a hard wooden bench in a bare grey room, Xin waited.  She served the Common Path. She had nothing to fear.  But when she was called into the room, when she saw the man, the thing, tied to the table, she wished they had left her to the clean emptiness of her meditations, to her silent slavery.

Lead Illustration: James Zapata
thumbnail this page: Fran Eisemann



August 24, 2017, FantasyWhat Fools These Immortals Be, by Evan Dicken

I’d only glamoured him so I could get a better look, maybe ask a few questions, but when I looked back the man was dead. Riding a storm down from the snowline, cloaked in swirls of wind-driven ice, I went to find his family, to explain, to help. But when I found her sitting next to the embers of a dying fire, she was cursing the storm, the unseasonable cold, the dying crops.

She was cursing me.



June 24, 2017, Fantasy, “Conspiracy in Theory and Practice”, by Mike Reeves-McMillan

The dignified woman in gray and the little man in loud tweed were both in Lincolnsville about the goblin reports.  To her they were marsh gas and poppycock.  To him they were certain proof of his theories.  And he had plenty of theories.

The battle lines were clear, but the outcome was not.

May 28, 2017, Fantasy  “Souls of Dinosaurs”  by Alexandra Balasa


Iulian has hunted this soul for eight years, eight long and painful years. It is a horror dredged up from his nightmares to hear it so close. . But Iulian is the Empire’s bloodhound, and tonight he must take back that soul.

March 29, 2017, Fantasy  “Sweeter Than Lead”  by Benjamin C. Kinney


She stood atop the wall and stared at the shifting black towers of the Nameless City, as if this time she might spot the shadows of its bygone masters. She flexed her toes against the rampart’s top, the basalt as cold and solid as ever. Only the wall and her vigilance held the City in check, but one of those would not last.


March 15, 2017, Fantasy:The River’s Daughter and the Gunslinger God“,  by Matthew Claxton

The river’s daughter had hair as long and green as eelgrass, and skin the livid white of a fish belly. Her teeth were sharp, and through her thin lips, she sometimes whispered spells and curses, for her mother had been a sorceress.

Since her mother’s departure, swathed in furs in the middle of a winter storm, the river’s daughter had not seen a single outsider to the valley. She spoke to the winds and her siblings the creeks, and she amused herself by practicing charms to change her shape.

This dwarf, this outsider who moved with such purpose, fascinated her. She watched him from silent concealment in the forest.

Feb 27, 2017, Fantasy: “Repo Priest”, by Joel E. Roosa

“In here. Name’s Ben Wilton.  Been possessed thoiteen times now.”  She held out her crosses as if they were shields, and shuttled backwards.

            “Ma’am, it’s not a vampire.  Crosses won’t help.”  Father Belloch unlocked the decrepit old door, and let it slowly creak open.

            The walls were covered with blood-red heretical writings, curses, evil symbols, and dirty limericks. The green ooze covering the floor added a foul smell to the overall ambience. What he didn’t see was the victim in question.

            He rummaged through his backpack and brought out a small umbrella.  He popped it open and stepped cautiously through the doorway. 


Jan. 25, 2017: Fantasy: With the Breath of his Bare Hands, by Tyra Tanner

Elu smelled demon.

It was a raw scent, like blood in the mouth. The smell that promised a belabored death, a clawing death, a fangs-upon-flesh death.

Sometimes, the memories of his ancient heroics played themselves out in his mind, and the gore colored his sight, but the scent of demon was always there.

It kept his fear alive.

And fear had kept him alive.



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Dec 29, 2016: Fantasy: “On Rising One Snowy Evening”, by Karen Bovenmyer

When she clawed her way up out of the frozen earth she tried to gauge how much time had passed – were all her kin asleep, gone this time?  Her husband had died before his time and she had vowed never to leave her children, for death or nobody — she’s always come back when they had need of her.







Dec 3, 2016: Fantasy: “The Tears of the Dead”, by Mark Rookyard

I think Father has forgiven me now. He’s been telling me of upstairs, where people live in buildings taller even than Joe’s tunnel. He says they have ‘windows’, big holes filled with glass that they can look through and watch the City. He says there is no sludge up there, and people have soft skin and clothes that aren’t torn and muddied. He said he once saw one of the Four that came on the Ship and rule over the City with an iron fist. I don’t know what iron means…



Sept. 22, Fantasy: “Hunters of the Dead” by Laurie Tom

When the wild magic meant to the win the war backfired, the king abandoned the people of the wild borderlands. Now there were only hunters between the living and the wandering dead.



June 8: Fantasy:  “Gatekeeper, What Toll?“, by Mike Reeves-McMillan

Photograph: “The Final Gate” by Mark Humphreys



June 2, 2016: Fantasy: “Skinchangerby Eduardo Frajman

The price of change

Illustration by Mark Purzycki


lacrimae knows pic 1

Fantasy, April 23 Lacrimae Knows“, by C..J. Jessop

 Even in the dark, especially in the dark, she knows.



dawn blossom flower 1

March 23, Fantasy: Dawn Blossom“, by John Eckelkamp






egil-by-chriskuhlmann-pic-magpieMarch 6,   Fantasy:  “The Magpie of Souls” by David Tallerman

Sword, sorcery, and enchanted castle



“Egil, Thane Uthred’s Huskarl” by Chris J Kuhlmann








Midnight, New Year’s Eve, 2015 into  2016.  Greetings and Happy New Year.  Here is the very first of our stories — Fantasy:  “TO THE MONSTERS WITH LOVE”, by A. Merc Rustad, illustrated by Rob Shields

A short wild ride.  Have fun!

The rights to this text belongs to the person who wrote it.