Havok Publishing

Thriller

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Gilbraith Slayer

The calm night shattered into blood-curdling screams.
Lo-en jolted awake at the base of the old spine tree acting as her cover. The screams echoed through the village beyond the forest’s edge as a family awakened to learn it was their house, their loved one that had been chosen as that night’s sacrifice.

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Tale of the Spectral Kite

“In the tales of them that came before, there’s talk of the otherworldly, spectral kite.” Pop’s cybernetic eye stared down the empty barrel of his gun. The rest of the parts stretched across his lap. “The settlers said you could see clean through the bird’s skin, past its bones, straight to its beating heart.

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Down in Flames

The docks stink of fish and cigars. During my early days as a Magickal Protections Officer, I used to retch almost daily. Now, the stench merely reminds me of what it hides—the light, sage scent of drakonixes.
I stalk down the creaky wooden planks, gripping Amaka’s leash as she slithers in front of

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Serpent & Dove

You adjust your tie, unable to help first-day flutters. The nondescript Serpent & Dove offices are paradoxically soothing yet disorienting.
Trying to walk at a brisk and assured pace, you head toward the office you’re to share with your partner. Your desk is opposite the door, clean and without character. The other desk is

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The Nightmare Hunters Before Christmas

“Coppelia Potts, full-time Nightmare Hunter and part-time… babysitter.” Coppelia sighed as she watched the snow fall outside. “I’ve thwarted mummies and captured magical menaces. I think I’m a little bit overqualified to babysit a toddler.”
Wolfgang Potts shrugged. “I don’t know what you’re complaining about. I’m glad we aren’t in mortal danger for once.

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I’ll Explain Later

Surrounded by shouting hagglers, I sweep my eyes over the market as we step into an abandoned tent. Back turned to the crowd, I rummage in my pack for the scroll. Passersby will only see a traveling swordsman and his student counting their coins before visiting the blacksmith’s booth.
“You’re my best student. Like

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Closure

Closure.
Ha.
I’m here by doctor’s orders. The last place I want to see is Death’s Curve. I despise every stick, every inch of pavement, every pebble along this road. You’d hate seeing where your daughter died too.
This is the sort of place teenagers used to go to neck when I was younger.

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The Santa Maria’s Last Tale

“In the tales of them that came before, there’s talk of the Santa Maria buried in the vast Noachis Desert, where yucca and sage cling to its thirsty soil. Nobody knows how the starship got stranded there, only that it crossed a great distance in search of treasure.”
As a galaxy of stars spiraled overhead

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Honest to God

Dear Josh,
I hope you enjoyed Italy. I hear the coast is beautiful this time of year, and after that trouble with the gas main below your building and all the strange sounds coming from your upstairs neighbor, you certainly deserved a vacation!
As we agreed, I stopped by your apartment every other day

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At All Costs

I’m tired of my child coming home bloody.
Our lonely life in the forest hasn’t provided the normalcy I’d hoped for. I’ve lost count of the times Lane has stumbled into our tiny home, crying and scrubbing at the red stains on his hands. I always kiss his forehead, wash the nightmare from

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Cry Wolf

“Wish it was harder to believe you’re dirty, Ed,” the captain muttered, slapping handcuffs in place. “You made it easy for us.”
The case of laundered bills had given him away, but the insult still rankled.
Ed Johnson stewed on it the whole ride to the precinct, was still stewing as they led him

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Words to Live By

Behind the shrubs would be a good place. The thought flitted through his mind as Andrei and his date walked through the dimly lit park.
The dinner had gone to plan. His petite partner had ordered the crab cakes as he’d encouraged her to, and he had smothered her with dessert and charm

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