Havok Publishing

Archive - September 2021

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Dust to Dust

First thing you have to do with a dead body is bury it.
The year was 1862. Yellowstone country. Where no explorer dared tread alone. Shovel in hand, I dug a grave for Darryl Evans and scooped the dirt over his corpse.
After a short prayer, I said my goodbye while an orange

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Legends of Allowen: Elihu’s Light

Misael sighed. “Do you know where we’re going, Sis?”
Giah glanced up from her map to Misael, who stood beside her in the dark tunnel. Their torch’s flame cast wavering light on the stone walls and across his furrowed brows.
“Of course I’m sure.” Turning back to the map, Giah spun it right, then

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Forest for the Trees

Darren Gaskow patted the top of his servo-bot. “Well, Bertha, I think that’s all the ultranium that will fit. The hold is filled to the brim.”
The sturdy machine, as always, gave no reply.
“Seal the hold,” ordered Darren, “and then go close up the mine. We’ve got nothing to do now but wait.”

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The Watchman

If you’ve never had the misfortune of being tasked with finding a needle in a haystack, allow me to summarize the experience for you in four words: I’d rather eat dirt.
Regrettably, I don’t have that option.
Case 43b has been my strangest yet. The file includes a black-and-white photograph of a

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Mer-Child

Askos looked too quiet to be the home of a murderer. Perched on a shady hill overlooking the nestled cottages, Tula unrolled her seaweed parchment and gripped her squid-ink quill. Below her, a man sat by a stream fishing, a broad-rimmed hat sloped over his eyes. Humans harvest fish in fresh water, she wrote,

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The Path Home

It was a curious shop. Wedged between a formal wear boutique and an espresso bar its brick structure was weathered and chipped. Rusty chains held a wooden sign with a squiggly line running to a red X as the only clue to what one might find inside.
Well-dressed pedestrians hurried by never sparing

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The Ruby Cross

The sunken cathedral walls swallow me as I lower myself through the depths, past the missing roof, one hand gripping my tether, the other cradling my flashlight.
“Jamaica?” Rasheed’s voice crackles through my headset. “You got eyes on the rubies yet?”
Before I answer, I swing my flashlight across the cathedral walls.

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The Purple Produce Predicament

I have never seen a vegetable like this in all my days. Is it a vegetable? A fruit? So purple! Oblong with a fibrous green stem. And there’s a crate of them on the tavern’s loading dock.
Tobias probably traded for them. He always does this—trades junk to some tinker out of

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An App for Zap

“There is a storm in the southern quadrant,” VERA announced.
Jasper looked up from his charts. “Are you malfunctioning?”
“No, Dr. Beck,” the AI intoned. “I detected an electrical charge consistent with the phenomenon of lightning.”
“That’s not possible.” Jasper crossed the lab in three strides and pulled up the visual feed. Heavy

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Amethysts to Ashes

Aislinn never thought she’d see Travis inside her greenhouse again.
Clutching her amethyst necklace, she addressed the prison guard accompanying Travis. “Is there something I can help you with?”
“The prisoner asked to see you before the trial, Dr. Groves,” the guard said.
Sweat beaded against the back of Aislinn’s neck, an unfortunate side

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Being Greene

Trixie sighed and threw the imperfect blossom she’d just crafted. It landed in a pile of other discarded blooms.
“Why can’t I get it right?” she moaned, putting her head in her hands. The ancient wood of the table was a prime example of her great-great grandfather’s work. The aged pixie had been

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Rust Bucket

It’s been weeks—months, maybe—since the world ended. Since my city burned. But the smoke lingers, turning the sky gray-gold.
I catch my breath in the shade of a dune, listening for something beyond the hollow rasp of wind over sand.
Trolls never give up once they have the scent

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