The Ballad of Mario Crane, Part 1

The first thing that went through my mind was, “This poor bird clearly should have practiced with balls before he moved up to juggling...

Payback Time

Avie Cline was being followed. She could tell right away; men like him always wore the same distinct uniform in the name of blending...

Epidemic Laboratory

A man in thick black robes had come for Louis Pasteur, his face concealed by a beaked leather mask, bearing tidings of death. “No luck,”...

Not Turning Back

“This is an outrage!” Makaio shouted. “Unconscionable! How DARE any of you call yourselves officers of the court!” The first thin, bright fingers of dawn...

Lighting the Fuses

I should be disappointed. After all, this is Plan B, and Plan B usually only comes about through failure. My little bacterial plague should have...

Opening Act

As Ivor Hawley walks, he stirs broken and heartless people into his wake, a comet of ill omen passing through and tearing a dark...

The Shootin’ Life of Jessica Patchett

Sloane didn’t ask for identification when she heard the knock at the door — she knew it was Pancho from the way he walked...

Somethin’ ‘Bout a Sword

October 18, 1877 Abram Grothe was a man of faith, a man of God, a man of peace. In a fight, his first instinct was...

Bad Medicine

Lying there in her four-post bed, shivering, soaked in sweat, reeking and unkempt, Lillian Morgan could no longer remember a time in her life...

The Orphanage

Miss Willa Mae was way too strict. She said they could drape sheets off the top bunk to make their fort, but they couldn’t...