Havok Publishing

Rachel Dib

Gray

I stumbled, snotty and blurry-eyed, from the smoking building. I didn’t look heroic, but I had rescued the missing child. That’s what mattered. Especially since wailing firetrucks were only beginning to pierce the surrounding commotion.
Blinking back tears, I cradled the grime-covered toddler in my arms. Her small body convulsed in a coughing fit.

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The Pancake Maker

“Are you still working on that thing?” Mauldin shoved a handful of popcorn into his mouth and eyed the hunk of metal parts his brother was attempting to jimmy rig together.
“Yep.” Pablo paused and tilted his head. Pursuing his lips, he bent his head the other way. After a moment, his face

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Growing Pains

“I don’t know what to do.” Margo peeked around the doorframe.
Her son lounged in his hammock, one leg dangling over the edge.
She adjusted the conch shell against her ear. “All Birch does is sit in his room and listen to fairy pop. Neither of his brothers were this—”
“Lazy,”

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The Alloy

Greg glanced at the clock: a quarter to nine. He could close early. After all, he doubted anyone would saunter in fifteen minutes to closing.
But it’s the principle of the thing. The sign says open ‘til nine. Chin in hand, he flipped a page in his magazine.
The bell above the door jingled

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Where’s Griswald?

“Work the night shift, they said.” Oscar pushed his chair back from the wall of screens. “It’ll be easy, they said.” He wheeled himself over to the small desk holding the telephone and began pressing the number for the tactical team’s head. “Well, in what world is a twenty-foot-tall praying mantis easy?”

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Mr. Reliable

“I can’t find him!” Becca yanked Mark into her apartment and snapped the door shut. “I’ve looked everywhere!”
Mark furrowed his brow. The living room had been rearranged into a wide-open space with the couch, wicker chair, and TV all lined up against the wall next to each other. That’s not very convenient.

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The Ghost of Carthop

I stared at the animal perched on the Archmage’s hand. While its head resembled a dragon’s, it definitely wasn’t one. It was a brown, fluffy bird with big eyes and a tiny beak. The bird lifted a wing and began preening its feathers.
I bit my lip. “Are you sure this is my familiar?

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Blue

“You are aware there will be side effects.”
I nodded but didn’t meet the study coordinator’s eye. I kept my gaze locked on my hands: the warped fingers, fused thumbs, and lines of surgical scars.
Lupus has side effects, too.
“You understand we cannot tell you exactly what those side effects will be.

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Thrill of the Chase

If you ever find yourself face to face with a bear/moose chimera, don’t under any circumstance stand up straight and yell while waving your arms above your head.
I clicked send on my transponder and glanced down. The chimera was sniffing at the base of my tree. My transponder vibrated.
Kai: Ha ha. K.

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The Price of Passage

Morris stared at the path below and flicked his tail in annoyance. He really wanted to use the canyon pass, but that stupid flying beast with the human face blocked the route.
He growled at the memory of his one attempt to walk through the ravine. Since the beast was part lion

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Small Talk

Every patron averted his gaze as Karis walked into the tavern. Even the barkeep avoided her eye while he took her order. She selected a random ale from the list and sat down. The tavern’s occupants continued to converse in hushed whispers.
Karis rolled her eyes and faced the room. “Look, I’m not here

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A Light in the Dark

“Do you remember me mentioning how much I hate small spaces?”
Sic sighed. “It’s not like you can see how small it is.”
I blinked. Or at least I think I blinked. The cave was so dark, it was hard to tell.
“Out of sight, out of mind,” Sic added.
“No. That’s not

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