“It’s like a book elegantly bound, but in a language that you can’t read just yet” – Death Cab for Cutie, “I Will Possess Your Heart”

“One and Two” by Emma Osborne

The gods meet at dusk. Celia finds Brin in her rose garden, his tattooed belly bare, ploughing his cupped hands deep into the loam.

“Players” by Curtis C. Chen

“I’m very sorry, Miss Cringely,” the stagehand said. Amanda seethed. She remembered a time when nobody would have dared interrupt the Defense Minister’s daughter when she spoke. “This boy’s been fighting with other students in the common room, and we have very limited space today.” The stagehand looked at his wristwatch. “It’s just a few minutes. If the brawler here tries to cause any more trouble, I’m sure your robot can keep the peace.”

“In Dragonfly Lake” by Kate Heartfield

My grandfather built this island out of resentment. He brought it three miles, truckload by truckload, from land he’d lived on for thirty-nine years. It took him a month’s sweat to do it, working alone.

“Come, Little Baby” by Lori A. Claxton

“The baby is dead inside me.” The client taps her unlit cigarette against the pack, and a constellation of diamonds dances on her knuckles. “That’s what the doctors say. No heartbeat.” She takes the cigarette between her lips, lights it, inhales.

“Boss” by Kurt Hunt

Something screams far above me, through tunnels and up curving stairways, past traps and unclean domiciles. It screams for mercy in a young language. Not one of my monsters, then. One of the soft creatures, come to kill me. An “adventurer,” seeking glory or gold and finding only the fetid remains of his predecessors and endless beasts beneath the rock. Gnashing teeth; rending claws; mindless milk-white eyes.

“Basilisk and Sons” by Timothy Mudie

“Yeah,” he said, “this is completely normal for around here. See, the early settlers in the area, the pilgrims and what have you, they didn’t know how to deal with basilisk disposal. Oh sure, they could kill them, but once that was taken care of, they were at a loss so they ended up just burying them. These old houses, the foundations are built over a veritable basilisk graveyard. Luckily, we know how to deal with the contamination these days.”

“The Coming of the Jirt” by David Barber

“A Starship Shot Down Like the Sun” by Andrea Tang

“After” by Sandi Leibowitz


Kristin Kwan is an artist who makes illustrative paintings and drawings. In her work she uses elements of fantasy and allegory to explore themes of life, death, and rebirth. She lives with her husband, daughter, and many pets in Lincoln, NE.

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