Havok Publishing

Beka Gremikova

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Rats in the Grain

“Rats in the grain again,” Farmer Jem mutters over breakfast while he tears into his slice of bread smothered with jam and cream. He doesn’t even glance at me, but Mrs. Jem does, shooting me a narrow look that makes me squirm.
“You know what that means, Kitten.” She sets a thin crust

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Viper’s Den

I’m sunning myself on a rock when I hear the shuffle of human feet rubbing against dirt. I swivel my head, and my tongue flickers in and out, detecting sweat, cinnamon, and the heady tang of the flowering bidya that Mamua planted just for me by the front of her hut.

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No Man’s Jungle

Dawson Malone prided himself on many things—his jawline and tracking abilities most of all. His crowning achievement thus far? Discovering the Merfolk after they’d been believed extinct for centuries.
So when he heard of monsters lurking deep in the Tangauryan jungle, he pounced.
“You don’t want to go in there,” the woman

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The Mercy of the Currents

Diving for corpses was not Belyan’s ideal profession, but someone had to do it. She shivered as cold, merciless currents swept past, dragging snarls of seaweed and chipped clamshells along with them.
Before her, two gleaming shapes curled through the water, light glowing from their sleek bodies. The presence of Ursu and Laur

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The Stardust Smugglers

Planet Kraken’s space port was one of the busiest in the galaxy—the perfect place for smugglers to sneak goods out right from under the government’s nose.
Leaning against my leg, Rigel whined, his ears pricked forward. I knelt beside him, rubbing his head. His coat looked a little shaggy; my best mate

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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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Bluebeard’s Brides

“Well, I’m off. You sure you’ll be all right?” Edwin paused at the door, smoothing his light blue beard. Its color reminded me of cryfina, a multifunctional, potent faerie poison that I’d been itching to get my hands on for ages. You could use it as a hair cream, a deadly weapon, or to

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Above Beauty

Today was yet another day her curse might lift—and Iris couldn’t let it.
She lay in bed, staring at the ceiling as waves of Priam’s love reached out from his wing of her castle. His affection buffeted like a breeze, twining around her limbs—and tearing into her beast-curse, the curse that

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Tough Crowd

Jessmina had faced tough crowds before, but a squadron of war-torn soldiers? That just felt unfair. She loitered at the bar, though—unfortunately—drinking on the job wasn’t allowed.
She sighed glumly at her situation. Outside, gray gloom and swirling snow. Inside, a table full of scowling warriors with rifles strapped across their backs.

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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 Sleeping Dragon

The Sleeping Dragon Teashop was known in Quira for its spiced apple blend. Nobles often used Ximena’s teas to help them sleep—and sometimes, they requested her to ensure their political opponents slept… longer.
One such note slipped through the letter slot just before her shop opened its doors for the day.

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Pay the Piper

So many rats.
Mayor Osveld sidestepped a chittering swarm as he hurried down the cobbled streets of Hamelin. Children flocked, picking up the creatures and tossing them back into the gutters or at each other, laughing. Children and rats. The two main commodities of this stinking town.
He turned into a doorway and sprinted

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