by Shirozubon Saruko (城図凡然る子) illustrated by 2013 “Bathal vel Vathat super Abrac ruens,” Ben finished, louder, with all the command he could muster. Nervous sweat prickled down his brow, getting into his eyes. “Absor veniens super Aberer.“ Then it was done. And after that… He wouldn’t say appeared, exactly. The chair he’d put in the […]


Sunset in the West

by Shirozubon Saruko (城図凡然る子) If you or someone you love is experiencing thoughts of suicide, or you fear you might harm yourself, help is available. Please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 to be connected to a crisis center, or contact another organization you trust.    1. now Jim kept frowning […]


Friends in Low Places

by Shirozubon Saruko (城図凡然る子) illustrated by The Winter Cynic “I beg your pardon?” Catalina said. She had long since learned that politeness was the best cover for panic. Capitán Noguera, however, did not seem to agree in this instance. “I see no reason why you should need it, my lady,” he said, with perhaps a […]


Dream House

by Shirozubon Saruko (城図凡然る子) See this piece’s entry on the Shousetsu Bang*Bang wiki. 1. By now, Kim’s brain seemed to have developed some weird sixth sense for the difference between “kid waking me up and it’s important” and “kid waking me up and it’s not important,” even before he’d really woken up at all. Sure, […]


The Same River Twice

by Shirozubon Saruko (城図凡然る子) illustrated by safelybeds PROLOGUE. The gentle folk up top could keep their fine houses, their gardens staid as soldiers, their broad thoroughfares made for fancy horses and fancier carriages. Boney Jim loved the sewer, and she loved him. Oh, your better class of people would faint dead away at the stench, […]



by Shirozubon Saruko (城図凡然る子) Looking up at the dark cave-mouth of the place where she would die, all Li Hua could think was that it was actually sort of a relief. The past weeks had been an endless ordeal: solemn banquets where everyone was miserable, being dressed and preened and polished by servants who were […]



by Shirozubon Saruko illustrated by Iron Eater Ilya was shaken awake by a rough hand, and blinked up at a candle’s glow in the dark. It lit the sharp planes of Brother Yuri’s strong, square face, now wide-eyed and drum-tight with fear and alarm. “Brother Ilya, please help us,” Yuri said as soon as he […]


Say No To The Dress

by Shirozubon Saruko (城図凡然る子)   Jill took a deep breath, and set her shoulders. In three more hours, this would all be over. She could get through it. She’d be fine. The Jill in the mirror looked less confident about the prospect – but then, you kind of couldn’t blame her, once you took a […]