Havok Publishing

J. L. Ender

The Celestial Portal

I stormed up the narrow stair toward the storm-battered castle, the biting sea wind spurring me on.
“Princess, please wait!” my guard, Alloy, called.
Hearing my preferred title only stoked the fire.
The next stair crumbled beneath my boot, and I pitched sideways into open air. The world spun. I caught sight

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The Book Below

The portal closed with a whumph and the smell of old books. I’d teleported myself deep beneath the massive castle complex of the Infinite Library, chasing rumors of ancient, forgotten books.
Dangerous books.
I hadn’t been expecting carpet.
I Imparted will into a small light sphere made of bronze. It floated at eye-level

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Turnabout

The portal closed with a whumpf and the briny scent of the sea. And maybe a hint of giant sea turtle. I gazed up at the heights of the mossy stone castle. A few cold stars shone above like chips of diamond.
Once inside, the halls were dark. Good. I didn’t want to

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The Outsider

The portal closed with a whumph and the smell of mint chocolate chip cookies. My human stomach rumbled as I stepped onto the pier. Seagulls’ piercing cries sounded above.
The city sprawled along the gentle curve of the giant turtle’s shell, the buildings rising taller as docks and warehouses gave way to

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Werewolf Librarian

The world turns cold, leaving me drained and human. I lay in a patch of mud, my head pounding. A parting gift from the transformation. I lift a hand to rub my temples, and the glitter of my chipped nail polish catches weak starlight.
The tattered remains of a dirty yellow sweater cling

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Threat Level: Cubicle

The rich aroma of coffee flooded my gray bottlenose. I picked up my mug with one flipper and sighed happily. My break had arrived, that relaxing island of time. A chance to drink coffee and think about my favorite video game, Call of Da Sea.
I gazed longingly at a chair, wishing I had

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The Hidden Forest

The portal closed behind me with a whumph and a sharp scent like fresh mustard. I shielded my eyes against glaring sunlight. A great desert stretched as far as I could see, dunes slowly baking in an oppressive heat.
I checked my list.
A. Valis – The Vanishing Unicorn
I was hunting a human

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The Bookwyrm

The portal closed behind me with a whumph and a smell like rotten eggs. My eyes watered as I tried not to gag on the stench.
The clicks, buzzes, and cries of a vibrant emerald jungle enveloped me, followed swiftly by a sodden blanket of humidity. My dark human hair and ridiculous human robes

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The Mastodon

The engine in my mecha whined as its knees strained, taking the last step onto the icy rise. In the grand view of cold white horizons, the Aurora shimmered vivid green overhead. Despite unceasing mortal peril, the endless ice had her consolations.
None of which made it worth it to me.

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Shiner

“Tell us how y’all got that shiner, Cap?” Private Cordone’s voice crackled over the comms. I couldn’t remember his full name, Something Something Cordone IV.
I shook my head and closed my thermos, suppressing a sigh. Ever since I’d reported for duty with a black eye, the squad hadn’t been able to

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Edge of the Earth

Flying through midair, I brought my megabot’s blade down hard on the neck of the tentacled beastie. Inky-blue blood splattered across the rough, uneven surface of the Antarctic ice.
A direct hit! I yelled in exultation as my megabot landed on one leg, slid in the ice, and crashed onto its side.

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After the Fall

I arch my back and gasp awake.
I lie in a circle of grass. Blades flutter in a gentle breeze. Despite the wasteland of ice and snow that swirls outside the circle, the wind reaches me as a warm summer breeze.
My ruined mech lays at my feet, inches past the green.

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