Havok Publishing

Beautiful & Dangerous

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Terrible Beauty

To open the portal, the populace must supply 100 barrels of fresh blood, the bones of fresh game, the cries of the filled arena, and 1,000 gold pieces.
I recklessly charged past the Alchemist Council posters announcing today’s event, desperate to get home. Why had I forgotten to stay at home today? Empty streets

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The Soul Stealer

The sun sets, and wispy clouds above me glow a faint orange. This means I now have ’til the break of dawn to find the creature who stole my mother’s soul.
And kill it.
If I fail to reunite her body and soul before the creature returns to its realm with the

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Danger Where It Walks

Yesterday, Albert Cook offered me a ride home from school. Thanking him, I scrambled into his Pa’s wagon. We talked of that day’s ball game and spelling bee.
Finally, he asked, “Ever see a ghost around your place, Pete?”
I shook my head. “Nope. My grandfolks died there last month, but they’re lying

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Fostering the Goddess

“Last year, we placed over six hundred kittens into foster care! That’s a lot of names, and we don’t allow any to be reused. Every kitten is unique!”
The bubbly shelter manager flipped to the next slide in her presentation. Everyone in the class gave a drawn out “Awww!” at the collage

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The Hand That Feeds

Gregory Martin rode into town mumbling, “Killed. Killed us all.”
He stumbled from his horse, staggered toward the frontier clinic, and collapsed. Within the hour, he was dead.
Roland Chadwick, Deputy U.S. Marshal, dispersed an inquisitive crowd and joined Dr. Vernon Mortimer inside his humble hospital.
The physician locked the door and shook

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A Killer Look

I’ve heard it said that fashion is pain, but for me, it could also be deadly.
As a finalist on Model Designer: Olympus Edition, the hottest fashion competition on TV, I was going to have to navigate that narrow catwalk very carefully.
I frowned at the dressform as I pinned folds

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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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Sand-Drake

Cyra, how will you do this?
I have no answer to give myself as I trudge across this scorching desert. I only know that I must try. Shimmering columns of heat rise before my eyes. I am tempted—so tempted—to discard the armor that protects my arms, chest, and legs.

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Survivor’s Instinct

The wolf pack was hunting again. I could sense it in how their ears perked, the subtle way they started to fan out and slink off, taking up their positions perfectly without any audible communication.
Scanning the city streets far below me through my scope, I searched for their prey.

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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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The Last of Its Kind

“What makes it work?” I asked, leaning back in my chair.
“We don’t really know,” Dr. Tine shrugged. “Some energy source that we haven’t been able to figure out. Our scientists who worked in the lab with the last one ended up getting sick, and some of them died within months. Nasty stuff.

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The King’s Cat

Prince Wilfred would not hold still.
This made a trying task of threading tiny, shield-shaped buttons through delicate holes, but Edvin persisted. It was his duty to properly attire the teenaged prince for the coronation ceremony, despite Wilfred’s nervous fidgeting.
Footsteps padded closer. Edvin glanced to his left to see the sleek

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