27
Oct

Instinct

by shukyou (主教)

See this piece’s entry on the Shousetsu Bang*Bang wiki.

Graham kept one eye on the watch in his hand and the other on the cage. The nautical charts were pinned to the wall behind him, but by this point, he could have recited them by heart. His breath was so shallow it barely moved his chest as he watched the second hand dance its jerky round in a five-step pattern, four ticks and then a number. This was the last step, the one that would prove them fools or gods, but nothing in-between.

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26
Aug

Combination Lock

by shukyou (主教)
illustrated by beili

See this piece’s entry on the Shousetsu Bang*Bang wiki.

Eli was just about to give up on the evening when the cops arrived.

A collective groan rose through the patronage as the lights in the bar snapped full up and a little joke of an air raid siren began to wail from over the bar. Eli glanced down at his watch before he remembered that he wasn’t wearing one tonight — or much of anything else, for that matter. He shifted his wig a little more securely into place, though he didn’t think it helped the illusion much, not at this hour, not after this many beers. Shit, why hadn’t he tried a little harder tonight? Maybe he could have passed as someone’s little sister, tagging along for a night on the town!

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23
Jun

𒀭

See this piece’s entry on the Shousetsu Bang*Bang wiki.

by shukyou (主教)
illustrated by beili

She drew herself to her full height when she saw me, setting her chin at a regal angle, announcing without words what she thought about herself and where she stood — or at least, what she wanted everyone to think she thought. “Well met,” she said, drawing the back of her hand hastily across her heat-warmed cheeks, rendered pink by sunlight. She took three sharp, shallow breaths, then squared her shoulders again. “I am come for audience with the Great Queen Ereškigala, ruler of the worlds below and mistress of souls.”

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28
Apr

Quarry

by shukyou (主教)

See this piece’s entry on the Shousetsu Bang*Bang wiki.

Novice Theo was not supposed to hate. He was expected to feel some negativity, of course, but he was not supposed to. Purging that was part of his novitiate training, burning away everything but love for and devotion to the Great Tetratheon that blessed their land. He had been with the Brothers for ten years now, and he had entered freely, wanting nothing but the serenity and discipline that a life of godly service promised to bring him. He wanted to be pure of heart and spirit. He yearned for that inner peace, earned through deep contemplation, which he could then reflect outwardly to better the entire world.

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25
Feb

The Absence of You

by shukyou (主教)
illustrated by TOFU

Read this piece’s entry on the Shousetsu Bang*Bang wiki.

“He’s coming to,” said a voice Lucian almost recognized – almost, and then even that was gone.

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28
Oct

The Cuckoo

by shukyou (主教)

 

Flashbulbs exploded like fireworks as they stepped past the customs gate into the terminal, the happy reunited family. They’d gotten permission to take the Millers behind the scenes a little, past the point where those picking up arriving passengers were expected to wait, so that the reunion itself might take place away from the media’s prying lenses. They were ready now, though, ushered forth by cops and social workers into the bright public eye.

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27
Aug

Good Morning

by shukyou (主教)

 

Despite what his name might suggest, Moe wasn’t a joker. He didn’t always get comedy, and he had five good jokes memorized for social purposes, even though I wouldn’t have sworn he understood why their punchlines were funny. The rest of our friends and I generally left him out of our good-natured ribbing and practical jokes, mostly because it didn’t seem fair that he wouldn’t — or couldn’t — reciprocate. All of which is why my I did not laugh when I opened the door to my apartment to find Moe standing there with a hollow expression on his face. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “Javi, I’m straight.”

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30
Jul

Female Impersonators of Distinction

by shukyou (主教)

Bud clutched the matchbook tight in one sweaty paw as he hiked the two miles from where he’d gotten dropped off off to his final destination. He hadn’t dared give the driver of the ride he’d thumbed the right address, so he’d told the man that friends would be meeting him here at the filling station on the outskirts of town. But the truth was he was looking even farther out on the skirt than that, so to speak.

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25
Jun

Night Owls

by shukyou (主教)

 

“Dad.”

Marcus opened his eyes, willing himself not to look at the bedside clock. The number would just depress him.

Dad.” The voice came from the three-foot-high silhouette standing backlit in the bedroom doorway. He had just started sleeping with the door open weeks ago, when some part of him had finally just given in.

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26
Mar

Unconventional

by shukyou  (主教)

 

“Christ on toast,” Racquel swore at her phone screen.

One of the interns on her last project had shown her how to set up Google alerts about three months ago, and from that point since, she’d gotten a little push notification about Leigh March every other week or so. Most carried information that was equal parts incidental and inconsequential, such as Leigh’s name dropped in an article about the anniversary of a show or movie she’d been in some number of years ago. Even so, every time one popped up, it made her smile. People out there were talking about Leigh. That was good; that was what she had seemed to always want, a comfortable, low-intrusion level of fame.

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26
Feb

For the Vine

by shukyou (主教)

 

Ray glared daggers over the tops of his glasses. “Not once in human history has that been a compelling argument. Even back when Vine did exist.”

Impervious as always to the weapons of his best friend’s expressions, Marcus kept that stupid, shit-eating grin plastered across his face. “Then do it for me. Come on!”

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30
Oct

Man Seeking

by shukyou (主教)
illustrated by cloven

“He’s a serial killer, you know,” was what Wyatt heard as he approached his friends at the bar.

“Nah,” said Benny, shaking his head so his disdain came through loud and clear over the thudding strains of Joy Division. “He probably doesn’t kill them. Just chains them to a radiator and maybe licks them twice a day.”

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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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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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20
Jun

Risingson

by shukyou (主教)

 

He could remember: four years old, the fruit bowl on the table, anaphylactic shock, being rushed to the doctor, a bustle of injections and barked instructions, his father’s nervous pacing, the doctor’s mechanical eyes — and then, when it was all done, a stern, clear lecture about how he was never again, under threat of a fatal reaction, to consume anything from the yashberry family again so long as he did live. He remembered it all clearly as he uncapped the bottle of yashberry brandy and took a long, deep drink.

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