21
Aug

Off-site team-building

by Hyakunichisou 13 (百日草 十三)
illustrated by Keshi

“I want a ridiculously large soft-serve ice cream cone with sprinkles on it,” Russell said, ticking the list off on his fingers. “I want a button with an ironic pop culture reference that I’ll lose before I get home. I want meat on a stick, and I want something deep-fried.”

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21
Aug

Hasta

by A.S. Mara

“So are you coming or what?”

“I’ll pass,” Qamar said, and grimaced at the exaggerated gasp that followed his answer.

“Bro. You’re passing up on free food?”

“It’s a buffet, man. What the hell.”

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21
Aug

The Smart Girl’s Spellbook of Practical Wicca

by shukyou (主教)
illustrated by rebelliux

It was Nightshade who had the idea first. She’d been at this the longest, since back before we all could drive, because her parents were the only ones willing to shuttle her to the town’s single New Age store, where the shelves were stocked with crystals and books that spelled “magic” with a k. They were the kind of cool parents who thought parenting was less important than being your child’s best friend, which was why she called them Herb and Trudy, and why we spent a lot of our weekends drinking in their basement.

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21
Aug

Higher Than Hay Bales

by Okō (織工 )

 

It turns out 2013 isn’t the New York Rangers’ year for the Stanley Cup either. They make it to the playoffs as a wildcard, and lose the first round of the playoffs in six games. Kolya is exhausted, and bone-weary, and his ankles and knee are killing him, and some part of him is faintly relieved, because he’s not playing his best, none of them are, and he knows full well that it hurts less to be eliminated in the first round than in the final playoff games.

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21
Aug

Silver Lilies

by Yuriko Toru (百合子 亨)

 

The Eclipse Festival was a prestigious event, Piper reminded himself determinedly. The colony on the moon was hosting an enormous party to brighten up the dark, and supplying free room, board, and transportation to all their prospective entertainment. An invitation to perform was not the kind of invitation one could just turn down.

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21
Aug

Sacrifice

by Hiwaru Kibi (火悪 木美)

 

Silviestro was going to die. He had known this for nearly a year now, ever since the astrologers had checked their charts and calculated the dates, then pointed to the calendar at what would be his twenty-second birthday. He’d been reminded of it in every plate of food brought to him by grateful villagers, in every lustful gaze sent his way by shapely maidens. Not for a moment had the knowledge left his mind that he would meet his end here, on top of the highest hill, anointed with sacred oils and wrapped in sacrificial robes.

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