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Dead young men kept washing up on the crooked sandbar that abutted the black ruins of the palace on the pier. The body lying now at the feet of Inspector Abijah Olivia was positioned face down in the sharp black glass of the beach. Abijah wore heavy boots to protect her from the sand, but the body was not so lucky. Barefoot and mostly naked, thousands of tiny lacerations peppered its sallow grayish skin.
The Light Brigade
The war has turned us into light.
Transforming us into light is the fastest way to travel from one front to another, and there are many fronts, now. I always wanted to be a hero. I always wanted to be on the side of light. It’s funny how things work out.
The War of Heroes
The Heroes left the man dying on the field, one of the thousands they pitched overboard from their silvery ships at the end of each battle with Yousra’s people. Yousra brought him home and had him castrated, to ensure he spread no contagion, and put him to work in the village. The Heroes’ men tended to eat little and work hard, and with so few people left in the village, his labor was welcome.
The Plague Givers
She had retired to the swamp because she liked the color. When the Contagion College came back for her thirty years after she had fled into the swamp’s warm, black embrace, the color was the same, but she was not.
Which brings us here.
When We Fall
I don’t remember the first time I was abandoned and forgotten, but I have told the story of the second time so often that when the memory boils up it feels hot and gummy, like the air that day.
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