• Circle of Oaks By Ellen Miffitt

    It happened in the woods, far from the nearest dwelling. Removed from civilization proper, the forest primeval was deep, dark, silent. So remote, little human contact had been made with this section of forest. It stood untouched, sacred in stance. The eldest trees scratched the sky with tender twigs. The sunlight filtered through this ancient stand’s thick trunks and massive branches to the moss covered earth rich with centuries of leaf droppings. She sat still, frozen in place, except for her heaving chest as she struggled to catch her breath. A faint finger of light slide through the tangle of forest canopy brushing her ebony hair barely giving form to…

  • Stripes by Jonah Barrett

    1 Missed Call, 1:25am Sylvia Zou, 1:26am: Are you asleep? This isn’t anything scary but could you call me? Sylvia Zou, 2:34am: Okay possibly scary. Not about us but I’m freaking out right now. I feel really bad, and I think your phone is down and…fuck. I’d really love your help right now Megan. I know you hate it when people are touchy feely but you help me a lot sometimes 2 Missed Calls, 2:39am Sylvia Zou, 2:55am: I’m a little better now. I still wanna talk though. Please. Not for any real reason, I think it would just calm me down, or something. I’m really sorry for this slew…

  • Shattering by Annalise Thomas

    You can’t see the cave looming ahead, but you can feel its darkness reaching out to strike. “Are you sure about this?” you ask. Your hand is tentative on the elder’s arm, and you stumble as he guides you over a rocky patch of ground. The sword and heavy bag swing unbalanced on your hips. “I really don’t think I’m suited for this kind of thing.” The elder pats your hand gently, patronizingly. “I am certain,” he replies. You wait for elaboration, maybe a few worn-out but generous words of inspiration, but he does not bother. He slips away at the mouth of the cave, his bone-thin arm unsheathing from…

  • The Ambassador’s Horses by Cyndisa Coles-Harris

    A groom, in the course of his service to the private stables of a much-admired ambassador, found himself in the vibrating belly of a specialized cargo jet.  He was not alone in that place.  A veterinarian and an armed guard were there as well, all three men secondary to the purpose of the flight, an entourage for the ambassador’s horses.  Three fine hunter mares stood quiet as cargo, neatly slotted into caution-yellow container stalls; a black, a blood-bay, and a sun-golden sorrel, all pedigreed and proven, sound and glossy.  In a fourth stall, also breathing grassy warm into the caustically clean atmosphere of the jet’s interior, was a new acquisition…