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His death began the moment we saw him. It just took a long time to consummate that death.
We began to kill him when we first saw him, walking slowly up the road that led past Stud’s place, his eyes flicking away from us and shifting from bush to chimney to tree, and then flicking away from us again.
When you cross the boundaries of society, you are outside society. When you reject rules, you become unruled. When you turn your back on civilization, you become uncivilized. Each barrier you cross is a little easier. You gain a little momentum, pick up a little speed, each time.
“One of the most amazing things I’ve ever read.” –Zoe Winters, author of the Blood Lust trilogy.
“The writing is stellar, the plotting cryptic.” –Cheryl Ann Gardner, POD People
(cover image copyright 2010 by Luke Bergeron)
What if all he wants is the open road? What if all she wants is roots like a maple tree? What if they fall in love?
The important moments of our lives are seldom given names. We name the meaningless times, and we ignore the important ones. They arrive with no fanfare, and they slip away unnoticed, and in those quiet spans between their comings and their goings, we make the tiny decisions that shape our lives. Decisions about what to pick up and what to put down, what to cling to and what to let slip. Which bridges to cross, and which ones to let the monsters chase us from. Whether to trust our minds or our fingertips.
What if she really did wait for him forever?
The first time he saw her was the moment he was hooked forever. The first time he touched her was the moment magic entered his life. The first time she wasn’t there was the moment eternity began.
There’s no such thing as a storybook ending.
(Cover design copyright 2010 by Mari Kurisato)
The Bumbler’s Apprentice
Surely, his Gift can’t lie among the Elementals. Surely, he is bound for greatness.
He’s studied the Rules extensively, not so that he’ll know what to do and what not to do, but so that he’ll know what to do openly and what to sneak around at. There’s a good side to having such a disorderly Master. If something goes missing, he’ll either forget he ever had it, or he’ll assume he sold it at a massive profit, or donated it to a worthy Nexus Hall, or something suitably egotistical. Residing deep in the bottom of Streep’s pack are three texts, ancient and worn. If he’s ever caught with them, there could be trouble. Well, actually, if any sorcerer ever catches him, he’ll call two of his friends, and they’ll form an ad-hoc Threeloom, put Streep in their Angle, and throw the Grand Weaving of Irresistible Truthfulness over him. Then he’ll say “Yes, I stole some texts from Basil. I stole Riggen’s Basic Bastings, Vonfleck’s The Language of Finger-Runes, and Que’s Weaver’s Cookbook, and I’ve studied them all,” and then they’ll cut both hands off at the wrists, burn his eyes and ears out with a hot iron, and set him to begging for a living, is what they’ll do.
The Dinosaur and the Dragon Lady
It’s never too late to find your way.
He married his childhood sweetheart. He married her twice, actually. They’d been engaged since that day on the beach when he was in sixth grade, but no one knew it but them.
He married her the first time the day after he graduated from high school, and they had to lie about their age and the state they lived in in order to do it. It had no legal standing, and neither one of them considered it any more (or any less) than a morally binding lifetime commitment to each other. When they got home, when they got back into the state they really lived in, she went home to her parents’ house next door, and finished school, and he got a job, and went to make a home for her. They were married, but no one knew it but them.
The Summer of Being
He’d never heard the fable of the “summer romance.” He thought it was forever.
That’s where it all began. “No. Wait…” and nothing more, because he didn’t even know what he wanted to say. He didn’t know then what was going to happen, he hadn’t ever heard the fable of the “summer romance,” he didn’t think at all, he just knew he didn’t want her to turn and leave. He felt his heart drop right out through the soles of his feet, taking all his breath away with it, and he knew he didn’t want her to turn and leave. There was just enough air left in him to say “No. Wait…” If he hadn’t, if he’d stayed quiet, not spoken those two simple words, his summer, and his life since then, would have taken a different path. A whole lot less pain, for starters. Well, that’s not really fair. The pain came later.