Havok Publishing

S8 - Vice & Virtue

First Battle

“Again.”
The voice that reached Pulsar along the communications thread was neither impressed nor impatient.
Pulsar pivoted away from the smoldering target at the edge of the training field to face the figure near the far-off arsenal. “But Master U’drec—I executed the maneuver perfectly! Why—”
“Return to start position, Squire.”

Read it now

Garden of Souls

Gods, I hate the overworld. It’s bad enough that everyone mistakes me for the goddess of death. I’m only the keeper of souls—and I didn’t even ask for that job.
Also, everything up here makes me sneeze.
I hold in another one as I look around this stupid hippie commune. My sister,

Read it now

A Dose of Fantasy

“Eustace,” his mother called. “Come say hi to Miss Marta.”
Eustace ignored the summons and kept practicing the combo on his controller. Two basic attacks, block, stab, slash, another block. It left just enough stamina for an ult. A forum online said the maneuver was so overpowered, he could beat dungeon bosses two

Read it now

Turning the Tables

I died at sixteen.
People said I committed suicide, but after my stepfather Manny had too many beers at my funeral and made a toast about how my curvy, young body must be pleasing the angels, murmurs rolled through the room.
The police chief ordered an autopsy. The medical examiner found arsenic

Read it now

The Last Dragon Hunter

“You are, without doubt, the laziest dragon hunter I have ever encountered,” scoffed Dorvan’s unwelcome visitor, a young knight.
“Oh? What gave it away?” Dorvan sat outside his cottage with his feet propped up on a stool. He did not even look up as he turned a page in his book.
“I once thought

Read it now

Guarding the Dead

Pounding on the door jolts me out of the haze between sleeping and waking. Remaining alert while resting is one useful trick I still use from my army days. I rise from my chair, brush the wrinkles out of my robes, and grab my lantern. Yawning, I stumble past the carved stone tombs

Read it now

Miss O’Reilly’s Advice Column

I’m going to enjoy shooting Hernandez.
I smile grimly as I run my feather duster along the balcony rail. My titanium blaster is a satisfying weight in my apron pocket. Too bad it’s set to “stun,” not “kill,” but I suppose one can’t have everything.
Twenty feet below me, the brightly-lit ballroom

Read it now

The Right Question

Ronnie wedged his armored fingertips under the heavy stone concealing the control box. He yanked and the slab cracked apart, the noise thunderous in the tomb-like corridor.
“Oops.”
Not that he felt bad about breaking anything in Emperor Thallia’s creepy castle, but the louder he was, the better chance the mechanical samurai patrolling

Read it now

G.O.D’s Miniature Planet

It was not the way that Geoffrey Owen Davies had envisioned his retirement working out. He had made it to the finish line in the Department of Construction with his home paid for, a lifelong income from his superannuation, and some untraceable accounts in the Caymans. His wife had left some years ago

Read it now

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,”

Read it now

Hike Home

Gredna surveyed the sand and scrub ahead, tapping a claw to her muzzle. How could they get home?
Rocky mounds closed in on them from three sides. The hollow looked familiar, but no tracks marked the area.
Her brother, Hokle, crouched on all fours by a streambed, moonlight glinting off his tan scales

Read it now

To Tame a Wild Mustache

I collapsed in the shade of an acacia tree, panting. My legs still tingled from the countless scratchy beards that had stampeded our direction.
Beside me, Archibald Waverly, renowned safari guide and wild mustache expert, lay flopped on the ground, pith helmet askew. “That was a close one.”
It was a moment

Read it now