Havok Publishing

Cassandra Hamm

Swamp Girls

The swamp has swallowed Mom whole.
I halt, feet lodged in muck. Cleo’s boots clomp clomp clomp as she keeps trudging along, splashing gray-brown water against my pants.
“Wait,” I say.
Cleo grips her pack straps with grime-streaked hands. “You can’t stop now, Clara. Mom needs us!”
If Mom needed us, she would’ve

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The Spirit of Sorrow Plains

Eerie caterwauling split the air, making Aisha’s skin prickle and her bones melt. The ghost cat.
She eyed the swaying brush, lit silver by the moonlight. Dark bloodstains lingered on the dry stalks. Her hand tightened around the hilt of her useless knife.
“Zawadi?” The shrieking nearly swallowed her quavering voice. “Is that you?”

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Taming the Volcano

Auahi is angry.
He burns molten hot, his flanks shaking, gray clouds billowing. I adjust the scarf over my mouth and continue hiking up the volcano.
After one hundred years of peace, Auahi is finally awake. Now, his fury will destroy my village—and those who are unable to escape it in time.

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A Clamor of Wings

Mandla is agitated today.
The iksomi’s feathered wings spread to at least twenty paces in width. They block out the bluish light of the twin suns as he stalks across the black sand dunes. When I take a hesitant step forward, Mandla makes a low growling noise in the back of his throat, revealing long, curved teeth.

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Pining for You

Being inconspicuous is difficult with a dragon in your pocket.
The text came while I was studying for biology, but when Kitty McDowell sends a cryptic message asking for help, am I going to say no? Of course not.
I stare up at Sterling Hall. Most of its windows are still lit,

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The Tenth Tongue

The sea has its own language. The water breathes with its currents, exhales in swishes and clicks, spews forth moans and grunts. Sometimes the sounds coalesce into something recognizable, but just as quickly, it fades into unrelated background noise.
I listen anyway, wondering if this will be the tenth tongue I master

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Take Your Dragon to Class Day

My backpack is twitching.
I peer under my desk at the previously-inanimate object and try not to panic. Professor Delorey’s reptile lecture goes in and out of my ears.
Oh. Crap.
My bag moves again. I kick it, and Venus lets out a yelp—Venus being my tiny pet dragon, not the planet.

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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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Fines and Flames

Of all the things to deal with right before a room check, of course I have to put out dragon fire.
“Venus, what did you do?” I gape at the flames eating my dorm room’s floor, then glare at the perpetrator.
Venus, the tiny dragon living under my bed, preens her golden

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Runaway Chef

If Remy didn’t know any better, she’d say they were heading farther into Lord Filch’s fortress instead of toward its exit.
The dull blare of an alarm punctuated Remy’s footsteps as she followed Kyanne through the servants’ passageway. Only Axel’s hand in hers kept her noodle legs from collapsing. “Kyanne,” Remy gasped, “where exactly are we going?”

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Sweet Smile

No flower could ever be prettier than Ederra. She stands underneath a kukka tree, rimmed by violet blossoms.
Stop staring, Zoran.
Hands sweating, I eye the buffet spread on the reception table. A plate of berry-topped taikinas makes my mouth water, but I’d rather not deal with cheek swelling and mouth burning today.

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Lord Chef

All Remy wanted to do was hurl the cobbler at Lord Filch’s smug face. Instead, she gave him her brightest smile and a big slice.
“Delcio cobbler, sire.” She stepped back to join the other servant, an older woman named Kyanne, at the tapestried wall of the dining room. “Made with fresh fruit

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