Wildlife Conservation Efforts

by the Winter Cynic


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by the Winter Cynic Read this piece’s entry on the Shousetsu Bang*Bang wiki



by Togi Kayako (土宜草子) illustrated by The Winter Cynic See this piece’s entry on the Shousetsu Bang*Bang wiki. I slam my study door behind me with more force than necessary, cutting off Andy’s plaintive meows. My hands are clenched too hard on my phone, and they shake a little as I dial Will’s number. He […]


Rose Red and the Huntsmen

See this piece’s entry on the Shousetsu Bang*Bang wiki. by shukyou (主教) illustrated by the Winter Cynic Max spent nearly an hour outside the shop, huddled under an awning that barely shielded him from the bitter rain, smoking one cigarette after another down until he nearly burned his fingers. He was desperate, that much was […]


Where You Gonna Sleep Tonight

by Wakahisa Rei (若久零) illustrated by The Winter Cynic   His memories were already fading. They were always stark in the first moments after waking – every scent (iron, flesh, sweat), every sound (screams, cracking, thudding) and every sight (horrified eyes, bodies, the full moon). Then, nothing. He’d get up, still dizzy from the change, […]



My life changed the night David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear on TV. I was in my pajamas, sick with strep throat, and I hadn’t left the house in over a week. My throat felt like a ball of steel wool had been shoved into it and left to rust. It hurt to eat. My eyes were dry and scratchy.

But there was Copperfield, larger than life, and that man knew how to do dramatic. So helicopters were circling over the water, bright lights made Liberty glow like daytime, and intense music blared, like in a scary movie. I know I had a fever, and that I tend to hallucinate when I’m sick, so my memory of it isn’t quite right. But here is what I think I saw: There was a pause, like a skipped heartbeat, and then the statue was gone. I thought I’d seen a miracle.


The Siren of Titan

by shukyou (主教) illustrated by The Winter Cynic (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/291336.html) The light off the Kraken Mare shone warm and inviting, but Andreas knew that even if he’d been close enough to feel its reflection on his face, it wouldn’t have been like the mornings of his childhood, standing at the edge of the Aegean Sea […]



“It feels like another world up here.” Geoff looked out the window at the trees blurring past as they drove, scattered with twisted, spindly pines and white flashes of birch. Even the soil had changed, sandy and pale.

“It’s kinda magic,” Brannon looked over at Geoff for just a moment, before maneuvering the car off I-75 onto an empty exit headed east. The sun set in a riot of red-oranges behind them, giving the illusion of truth to Brannon’s words. “It’s why I own a house up here and rent a place in Detroit. Everything falls away when I drive up North and see the landscape shift, and it’s just…magic,” he repeated, voice falling soft.

“It just makes sense.” Geoff reached across the console and laid a hand on Brannon’s thigh; when Brannon dropped his hand to cover it, Geoff lifted Brannon’s hand and pressed a soft kiss to the palm, lips lingering against warm skin.

“That’s distracting when I’m driving.” Brannon’s hand jerked back to the wheel, but his face was hot with pleasure.

“Fair enough.” Geoff smiled as he eyed his…significant other? Boyfriend? Lover? All the terms seemed either too clinical or relied on language he wasn’t comfortable using. Relationship and sexual labels had never been Geoff’s friend, but Brannon loved them.

Gay. Kinky. Submissive.


Moltslawn Industries

Half the board of management was already sleeping. Martin doodled another little man, colored its coat in a boring pencil grey, filled in its necktie with the usual blue stripes and killed this one with an anvil.



The first few months that Johan spends in the Gravina family manor are a blur of doing the wrong thing at the wrong time while saying the wrong thing to the wrong person in the wrong place, but his uncle assures him that he’ll settle into his role in time. Serving as Young Master Hugo’s valet is an important responsibility, after all. Does Johan think he was chosen lightly? Well, then.


Close Your Curtains

by The Winter Cynic (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/189367.html) You can hardly smell it in the city, where the roar of traffic and the constant stream of human movement drowns out the quiet. Think of the countryside, where the roads are dark and the trees are tall and huge and old. They loom over you, stretching to follow […]


A Hot Chicago Weekend

by The Winter Cynic and The Autumn Poet (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/188559.html)


Slow World In A Universe Too Fast

by Tsubaki (鍔き) illustrated by The Winter Cynic (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/116214.html) It’s with a smile and a tone of matter-of-fact fondness that friends say Emil and Ryan may as well have been made for each other. The slightly cliché Golden Couple, completely adorable, eternally well-coordinated, thoughtful and romantic, involved with each other to a degree most […]


The Way of the Sword

by Kaito (カイト) (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/112374.html) “Hey, Earl!” The stocky security guardsman in his glass cubicle jumped at Arvid’s voice from behind his back and sputtered into his drink, spilling it all over the magazine he was reading. Arvid got a glimpse of bare breasts, now soaked in coffee, and winced. Earl looked up at him […]