Havok Publishing

Julia Skinner

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The Prairie Smuggler

The lisuxx were on the move, rising like a lake of miniature stars over the dark prairie. I crouched at the edge of the forest, watching with a familiar sense of awe tightening my chest. They were a blinding, bright yellow. The color of poison. Forbidden to the tribe. Millions of

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The Jester

No one on Main Street was laughing. Jester leaned against the fifth-story railing of an apartment building. He shook his head. There they were living perfectly normal, happy lives, and they still found things to scowl about. Well, if they wouldn’t smile on their own, he assumed it was his job to make them scream.

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A Spoonful of Doom

Coriander the Third grinned at the contraption in his hands. He’d created the greatest Dooms-Day invention this side of Gargon Ridge. He nodded proudly at the round, gleaming surface. It was the same perfect silver shade as the Fighting Evil Unit—or FEU—suits. Covering his invention with a cloth, he pushed through

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Mirror Mirror, Me

The face in the crystalline mirror is nothing like what I remember. Cold eyes, a crown of perfectly pressed hair, expression like fine stone glazed in ice.
No one told me becoming the fae Queen would be like… this.
I strain to catch even the slightest glimpse of fire in the depths of her eyes

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War Bent

The crier held out the letter Clip had waited two years for. An orange bow wrapped around the envelope’s crinkled and weathered form.
The mass of townspeople bustled around her. No one stopped to ask about the soldier who had just been announced dead. No one spared a glance.
“Do you ever pay attention?”

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Once again, Diah was breaking into her own palace. She huffed, edging along the shadowed side of her castle. How many times had she done this? Seven? Ten? She was losing count.
She paused and ran her hands along the cold stone wall until she found the deep grooves that had been cut precisely

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The Hero of the Infinite

Purple rings lined Human’s eyes, darker than usual. Yyinx clicked his tongue as the boy walked into the main deck. “New look?” he asked.
Human stared at him, then slowly twisted his face into something he called a smile. “Yeah, man. Doesn’t it do great for my lovely complexion?”
Yyinx studied him.

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Royal walked through the granite street of Beryl City thinking of how he would kill his father. Elegant buildings towered on each side of the wide road, testaments of just how full of life this city was compared to the middle-of-nowhere hole he grew up in. Every few houses, his father’s flag flew,

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Den sloshed through the streets of the City With No Name. Overhead, a sagging wire sparked as it trembled in the rancid wind. There’d be another fire soon. He should probably call some Smokers out to take care of it. Instead, he turned down an alley.
Where is he?
Dusk coated the outback

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The Statue Girl

Markus bounced on his heels as he waited in the line leading into the Cursed Gardens. Past the black metal fence, maze-like rows of statues rose in a cacophony of heroism and doom.
“Hey.” Markus tapped the shoulder of the hulking man in front of him. “You see that wyvern over there?

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Maize ran her fingers along the fresh scars trailing her arm as she stared at the king’s latest request. The white suit lay draped across her red-wood weaving desk. Make this suit so that its wearer is immortal, the king’s messenger had told her. Then, perhaps, will you be forgiven.
Strands of afternoon

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Kabr slithered across the bloodstained cobblestones, eyeing the shadows bordering the backstreet of Veerion. The sharp twang of fresh death flared through his nostrils, stoking the fire in his chest. Beneath the foul stench, Merna’s perfume of old pages and secrets still lingered, even hours after her body

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