24
Jul

Picked Up Along the Way

by Okō ( 織工)

Morgan’s present caught up with him one afternoon while he sat in the local park and watched a pair of old men play chess, studiously ignoring the hipster moms and their screaming children on the tiny jungle gym to his left. The neighborhood was gentrifying slowly enough that Morgan could still sit in the park for hours at a time without anyone calling the cops, but he suspected that would change if the moms thought a random dude was perving on their kids, especially a dark-skinned, shabby-looking one.

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24
Jul

Totally Stoned

by Houndstooth
illustrated by Iron Eater

 

“I know, I know, I’m trying to relax,” Bryce muttered, grinding the palm of their hand across their temple. “I wasn’t expecting… God, there are so many people here.”

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24
Jul

The False Prince and the True

by shukyou (主教)
illustrated by beili

The throne room looked different from this angle: an inch or so off the floor, with a guardsman’s shiny leather boot pressed against the back of his neck. It was a fine angle from whence to observe the delicate work and mother-of-pearl inlay. It was a terrible angle from whence to face the king. Unfortunately for him, Marcelo was not there to appreciate the architecture.

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24
Jul

Inherit, Imbue

by TK Hoshikuzu (TK 星屑)

 

His parents had warned Mir not to stray into the origin forest. Though it was the source of all magic, like the sun, it was dangerous in proximity. He hated disappointing his parents anyway, but he had seen the horrific results of the travelers that dared to enter it. The lure of power within drove ambitious sorcerers to venture inside, but no one had returned alive. Remains were seldom found since sensible locals were too afraid to retrieve them. The bodies who managed to crawl back to the borders were mangled into inhuman shapes. Some had their limbs fused into other limbs, others had their skins shifted on their bodies, as if someone decided their face holes were better suited on their backs. The worst was when the bones of a poor soul had splintered and pierced their skin, like hundreds of pale-white needles trying to escape the body. Mir held no illusions about what would happen to him if he were stupid enough.

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24
Jul

Home from Abroad

by Domashita Romero (地下ロメロ)

“Good god,” I said as I stepped through the door and put my briefcase down. “I never thought it would end up finding being bowed to tedious.” I collapsed heavily onto the sofa, loosening my tie and rolling my neck. “Not that all the bowing in return made it any better. I’m going to be feeling this trip in my lumbar for a week at least.”

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24
Jul

Unlocked

by Hyakunichisou 13 (百日草 十三)

Jai let his overnight bag bounce on the bed with a careless jingle of souvenir charms as he darted across the room to the wall of windows. “Will you just look at that. Isn’t it spectacular?”

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