Quiver full of bullet tipped arrows.
The bow of aluminum my dad made in high school.
I step into the sunlight on the south side of the house.
I don't know why I pull the bowstring
back to my eye, aim upward, and loose.
Straight above my head.
And the voice said,
"You are a most common creature,
though of a peculiar people."
The Sun glints off the arrow's shaft.
I shade my eyes and wonder how long
before the arrow hits me. How long before
I step aside. How long to decipher a riddle
from a lipless voice.
Now I'm 16.
These days, I fire two arrows above my head.
Bring back that voice.
One arrow. Two seconds la
HOW TO CREATE A HAUNTED TREE
1. Marry someone you don't love.
If you are already in a loveless marriage, you can skip this step.
2. Bring up the subject of moving with your spouse.
Prepare a list or reasons you want to move. Pick someplace very far away, ideally in another country. Be firm but not impatient, do not seem over eager. Tie up any loose ends, ship possessions ahead and be ready to leave at a moment's notice. Expect this step to take some time.
3. Create a garden in the backyard.
Mention to your spouse how relaxing gardening is, and point out that it will raise the value of your home. If you do not have a yard, locate a s
Janice didn't rush towards the dome wall. She limped as fast as she could, shifting weight to her good foot, painfully moving forward. She splayed her hands on the transparent wall and gazed at the growing crack. I realized I was holding my breath - everyone was - but I relaxed when the crack stopped growing. Janice sighed, lowered her head and just stood there, hands still on the wall, her silhouette framed by the red sand outside.
I wanted to get up from the gray grass, to tell Janice it was all going to be okay. I wanted to tell her it was just a surface crack and that I would fix it in the morning, before I did my rounds checking the ai
If you can't rush, run. Spill out of yourself and down the street for spring has come. It's a riot, a full helter-skelter of blossoms and hope, a firework out in the quiet. The long lope of winter slows for it. Autumn trembles below it. A great green goddess is pushing up the horizon and they have to run to keep up or fall. Spring is tossing us between her two hands like a ball. Up and catch and never stop us, never drop us. She knows her game. It's to get every one of us chanting her name. And I'm the same. I want to be your Spring, the queer wild thing that startles you out of your bed with flowers. I want to turn your minutes into hours in
The time machine hissed as the door opened and a pair of spindly-armed Tyrannosaurus rex trotted out. The first one turned around and, seeing the second one, raised its crest and chirped. The second one, which had a long mottled scar down its face, chirped back and tried raising its crest as well, at which point the first one informed it that its feathers had been plucked by scavengers at some point before its burial.
"Seriously?!" the former corpse said.
"Yes, Targa. Don't be an ungrateful shit."
Targa waggled its futile little arms. "You're right. Sorry, Rilly. Thank you for this brilliant idea. When the hell are we, anyway?"
The stranger at the saloon gates was slender and even short. When he stepped inside, the crowd saw his empty holsters and went back to drinking and pawing at the local prostitutes, who'd rap their knuckles when they got too frisky. The stranger nodded approvingly each time this happened.
The bartender nodded when he came up to the counter and laid down a nugget of gold. "Prospector, I see."
"You could say that," Torre said, drawling the words because it helped keep her voice low.
"What'll it be?"
"Whatever you have, neat. And a round for all these gentlemen." She nodded at them. Large enough crowd, but between the size of the nugget and t
The Magus College was going down.
Torre's mother always said her father was a bolt of lightning, and as nonsensical as it sounded, Torre had a peerless affinity for storm magic - and the temperament to boot.
"'Ears popping isn't a sufficient demonstration of your skills!' What the hell else was I supposed to do in a basement, you daft jackass? Show me someone who can change the air pressure that fast…." She took the stairs two at a time, nearly stepping in a liquefied student. Duels were banned, so pranks tended to take on a sinister cast.
Torre swept into her room and slammed the door with a summoned gust of wind. "The system is bul
Coyote yipped his longing for a challenge into the sky. The others ignored it at first, but night after night, listening to Coyote bitch about how smart he was and how boring everything was now that he'd helped (fuck up) putting the stars into the sky, create humanity, find land - hang on, the damn liar! - just got to be too much.
Raven, the farthest flying of the bunch, said "I have an idea." No one argued with Raven, especially not while his mouth was dripping Rabbit's freshly disemboweled guts.
"Go on, then," someone said from the back.
"I will show Coyote…a sand dollar." Out in the desert, there wasn't any place for such a thing,
I spent all day waist deep in the waters off Colaba, chanting the Mantra to Varuna with a corner of my mind hoping I wouldn't get tangled in oil, discarded icons, or seaweed scraps. You'd think there would be other ways to get a truly awe-inspiring pair of shoes, but the thing about going to family weddings is they're all nightmarish gossips, and the only way I could think of to shut them down - since my clothes were, well, mediocre - was by wearing the most stellar, spectacular shoes possible.
The part of this I hadn't thought through was the effects of drinking a gallon of water in the morning, plus being surrounded by water and the sound of water all day.
The god appeared in front of me in a nondescript rishi form, as they do - although unlike some of the others, he wasn't trying too hard to trick me into being a jerk or whatever it is gods are out for when they turn up like an unwanted guest.
"Your devotion has pleased me," Varuna said. Standard ritual stuff. "What would you
There was a name for this sort of thing: indulgences. When rich people couldn't bear the thought of going an entire Lent without butter, they'd donate money to the local cardinal, bishop, or Pope himself and then get a reprieve.
The Christians had turned out to be wrong about a lot of things, especially the afterlife, but Noki was convinced her heartless germophobia merited some special consideration.
To make up for her overuse of triclosan--she had surely helped create at least one antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria--and near-constant murder of helpless plants and insects--Noki donated thousands of dollars to the Jain temple, helping
They looked at the machine they had built and then at each other.
"Do you want to try it first?" Savitri said.
"I'll pass." Chen had wired the network, Savitri fine-tuned the neural connectivity. Between the two of them they knew everything there was to know about the bliss generator, and yet--something about it felt wrong. Or, not wrong, but ineffable. Mystical. Like introducing a human brain to the electrical components would take it somewhere people weren't meant to go.
But this was stupid.
"I'll go if you go," they both said--the thought had occurred to them simultaneously.
"Fine." Savitri stepped in first. Chen got in next to her. T