Havok Publishing

Archive - February 2020

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Family Connections

The beam from my uncle’s flashlight slid like a ghostly finger over the towering piles of antiques, and I shivered. Evidently, the small museum he’d worked at for years didn’t heat their storage room. A collection of Victorian dolls stared balefully at me, so I snatched up an old, canvas tarp

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White As Snow

I trudged down the aisle, eyes on the ground. I could not face the countrymen who stood on either side of me, judging. Instead, I counted their shoes. Twenty-nine people to witness my fate.
I slowed when my father’s calfskin-covered feet came into view. Beside him, the monstrous boots of my betrothed rested in the snow.

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At first glance, the Wild Pony wasn’t anything special.
It looked like every other saloon I had visited. The same batwing doors adorned the entrance, creaking every time they swung open. Wooden tables were scattered around the room. The usual riff-raff crowd occupied the stools, smoking and betting money on their cards.

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Loves Cats

I’ve been getting out more ever since the tiger chose not to eat me.
I don’t care for the brittle air poking my eyes, nor do I enjoy the shrieking pigeons that habitually scatter when I—and only I—approach. But today, as I bump against strangers on the public bus, I have a mission: my first date with Harry.

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The Taskforce

I lurched awake, the dream still scrabbling at my heart.
Not just a dream.
It was real, happening or about to happen. It was all I could do not to call my sister, but I knew she’d insist, as always, that nothing could catch her.
Nothing could, of course. As speedsters went, Hannah could outrun them all.

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The Lady’s Counsel

By Patrick M. Fitzgerald Merrick rapped the door’s ornate knocker. “Garrett is one of the most honorable knights of the Order of the Trinity. He retired years ago, and his reputation is impeccable.” The initiate, Derrin, showed him the list of names.  Every one but Garrett’s was crossed out. “I hope you’re right, sir. He’s

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Follow the Flame

No more dead corn.
Thank goodness for that. I’d checked every ear, terrified that whatever pestilence had killed my crop last year would return again. The corn was my pride and joy, by far my best crop. I sighed. My work dress already clung with sweat from the day’s heat.

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Better Than Here

Shirl Crabfelter rehearsed three rules daily as she donned the counter-girl’s top for Shady Grove Deli & Vendorama.
1. Don’t wake Ernhert if he was drinking.
2. Don’t show up late for your shift at the Vendorama.
3. Don’t pay any mind to the angels on the roof.

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Dangerous Advice

“Another raid has been reported, Your Majesty. We lost the Orion.”
I nodded, narrowing my eyes and bracing my feet against the floor’s slight rocking motion. Hopefully I looked as calm as I needed to.
“Sunken or captured?”
“Captured, sire.”
“Thank you, general. Dismissed.”

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“Psst. Lase, where are you?”
“Over here.”
Brande wandered between bookshelves. “Where? I see only books.”
“Yes, isn’t it amazing?” Lase appeared from behind a stack holding four musty tomes.

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The crisp slip of paper scratches my palm, leaving a stinging cut. These words say I’ve won. That I’m almost guaranteed a shot at being Immortalized.
My mother has been smiling at me so long it’s almost become a grimace.
“You… You entered me in the lottery?”

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Toby’s Call

The water sparkled green at the far end of the Northwest Coast, a beautifully masked death trap. At least it was a break from the witch hunt playing on all the holocubes in town.
Toby kicked a rock and made sure to stay high on the jetty, well away from the water.

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