The internet is an amazing place. Among many other advantages, it lets me shower you with links to publicly available short fiction I’ve written. I don’t write short stories in the Craft Sequence universe, often—short stuff is a chance for me to play around. Check it:
Everybody knows about Thrull. Thrull like legend among us folk—biggest, greenest, meanest, nastiest, and dirtiest of all—with one big difference: legends false, Thrull true. We tell the story of Thrull and the reindeer feast, and the story of Thrull and the Mountain Witches, and the story of how Thrull wrestled Winter and wed Summer on Grandmother Rock, and the story of how Thrull broke Stone Peak making love, but the best story I know, that the story of Thrull and the Askin’ Man. Now pour some hard stuff for yourself, and pour a glass for me. Set your tape deck down and listen. This tells the day Thrull got smart.
Thrull not so slow as a box of rocks, but not so fast as a snail neither. This story tells Thrull after she had two eyes again, one big and green as usual, the other small and sharp and red—but this not the story of how Thrull lost her eye and took another in its place. Those two stories got joy to offer, and someday I’ll show you the graves that mark them true. But now I tell a better story.
The Iron Man (Fairy tales / posthumanity / aftermaths) in The Grimm Future Anthology
The boy stopped playing after his Mom and Dad chained the iron man to the Kingdom’s heart.
The boy used to run alone and brave through the welt within the walls, and even ranged as far as the borders of the wood. He tossed the ball his mother gave him into the sky, gold against blue with the sun behind, and laughing caught it again. The ball purred in his grip. Sometimes he asked it questions—how to build a puppet, how to open the castle gates, how to change the color of the sky—and it answered. How questions were the ball’s job; why questions were Mom-and-Dad’s.
Late Nights at the Cape and Cane, Uncanny Magazine (Supervillains / multiverses / losers at a bar)
Doc Sinister was sloppy drunk, scared, and monologuing. The first and third weren’t unusual for one A.M. at the Cape and Cane on a—do you call it Tuesday night or Wednesday morning?—but the second worried me.
“They don’t get it.” He pounded his glass on the table for punctuation, and a fountain of expelled bourbon wet the stained sleeve of his black topcoat. Doc had come in costume, straight from work. Another bad sign. “Majestic. Cypher. Whole damn Super–League with their muscles and blue eyes and jawlines, they’re just…” Green flames trailed the tip of his crooked finger as it wove uncertain circles in the air. “You know. Ring of firelight. Horrors too terrible. Dutch boy with his finger.” He knocked back the rest of the bourbon and magicked himself another from the bar. That made five, which is a lot for a guy as slim as Doc.
I kept quiet. I tend to, when someone’s on a roll…
A Kiss with Teeth, Tor.com (Monsters / parenthood)
Vlad no longer shows his wife his sharp teeth. He keeps them secret in his gums, waiting for the quickened skip of hunger, for the blood-rush he almost never feels these days.
The teeth he wears instead are blunt as shovels. He coffee-stains them carefully, soaks them every night in a mug with ‘World’s Best Dad’ written on the side. After eight years of staining, Vlad’s blunt teeth are the burnished yellow of the keys of an old unplayed piano. If not for the stain they would be whiter than porcelain. Much, much whiter than bone.
White, almost, as the sharp teeth he keeps concealed…
The Angelus Guns, Tor.com (angels / time travel / sibling madness)
Three nights after Thea’s brother left for the revolution in the Crystal City, she packed a bag to follow him.
She expected a fight when she confessed her plan. Instead her young mother closed her eyes, and opened them, and asked, “Can you bring him back?” They sat together at their outpost’s small kitchen table, and drank tea, and curled their wings close about themselves, though the late summer night was warm.
“I have to try,” she said, “before the end. It won’t be long now.”
Her mother rocked on her stool.
Earlier that day, wandering among the primitives they’d come to this world to watch—scavenger lizards still struggling to master fire, a few thousand years behind schedule—they’d seen battleships gather in the sky, and heard the rumble of the Angelus Guns returning to the Crystal City. Rainbow machines in their blood sang a war song to call the hosts of heaven home…
Drona’s Death, Penguin Books, reprinted on Tor.com (the mahabharata’s awesome / no seriously you guys / this sort of thing happens all the time in that book oh my god)
War rages on, and Drona is its heart.
Some songs tell of good wars, kind wars, wars where, when the fighting’s over, you sit alone in the woods and breathe and think, this was good, this thing I’ve done. I have saved lives, I have served my king, I am the man I always hoped to be. Drona’s heard these songs; he’s never seen the wars they mean.
This war has lasted fifteen days. Not long, but vicious. Mountains lie broken to shards by warriors’ wrath. No war has been this great since the first one, which gods and demons fought in mortal guise. Cleaner, Drona thinks as he draws his bow. Safer. Gods and demons, each knows the other an enemy. This is war between men, between brothers.
The sun stands one fist’s distance above the eastern horizon. Cries of dead and dying men and elephants, screams of horses and of tortured metal, fill the heavy air. Fifteen days ago there was a jungle here. Now patches of forest stand like tombstones on a blasted heath. There is no word for the world the war has made….