Joined June 2009 and calls Halfpenny Orchestra home.

28 stories, 4 challenges, 288 comments, and 47 friends

I like to hit 1,024 exactly.


  1. The Gift

    James’ hand slipped into his pocket once more as he walked briskly through the dusk. Smiling to himself, he fingered the brown-paper package, gently poking at the bulge made by the tortoiseshell combs wrapped inside. He could already see the look...

  2. Life Lines

    A week’s journey farther down the coast brought me to the city of Coir. Each citizen’s house sits on its own free-floating island. The dwellings are bound together with crisscrossing lines of cord. Any person with a connection to another...

  3. Dawn and Dusk

    Auroro knew that to leave the Sky Palace was to leave immortality, but Clay Woman on the Worlds Below beckoned until he could no longer resist her call. His feet on the earth, he walked with her for miles, marveling at flickering fires, the hot blood o...

  4. Under Cover

    After three days’ journey east, I came to the low gate of Dystosia. The city has bloomed in the desert for many years, growing in rings that spread from a wide and rich oasis flowing with sweet water that nourishes fragrant dates and other wonder...

  5. The Hidden

    The narrow crawl space is hot with their frantic breath, their exhaled prayers whispered in time with the stomping of thick boots throughout the house. “Save, Hashem, Your people.” The sound of heavy footsteps stops suddenly above them.

  6. The Street Sweepers

    Nobody sees this side of the city but us: The donut-shop owners starting their machines. The street walkers who didn’t catch the right eye. The lonely taxi drivers making circles around the park. The staggering drunks. The beat cops. The street s...

  7. Grendel's Fairy Godmother

    The pain. The wet and tearing pain. The new man in the hall had been strong. Too strong. Like cursed iron. Like sacred stone. Not like the other men, the skinny men who pulled apart like boiled mutton. The new man had not pulled apart, not broken. Gren...

  8. All in the Timing

    She wasn’t sure she’d be able to finish her research. Or even start it. Youth tended to congregate in fields shortly—sometimes mere minutes—before each harvest, and as she didn’t want to end up a subject of her own study, ...

  9. Floriography

    Edward’s tea, not even half finished, had gone cold. So had Edward. Elizabeth picked up a crisp, white napkin and dabbed at the corners of her mouth. She had grown fond of him and his confident, though chaste, advances. In fact, of all her suitor...

  10. The Ficly Road (spoilers, I guess, if you haven't read it)

    When he woke in the woods in the dark, he’d marvel at the cold, the boy, the ash, the gray, the world, the silence, the lack of quotations marks and apostrophes in their dialogue. Are we the good guys? Yes. Are there bad guys? Yes. A lot of them?...

  11. Field Study

    Gregory was the best at what he did. Hands down. If nothing else, he’d survived the longest of anyone from his training class: six years in the field after the requisite decade of study. He owed his life to that class, although the explorers̵...

  12. The Safari

    The rhino stumbled, crashed through a bush, and plunged, bellowing, into the gorge. “Damn, damn, dash it all!” Lord Crowley lowered his rifle, but kept squinting his right eye as he gazed at the hole in the vegetation. “Not too cunnin...

  13. With Odd Power Comes Odd Responsibility

    “Julius Seizure.” “Are you kidding me? Absolutely not.” “Causal Loop?” “No.” “Causal Lou?” “No, not him either.” “Loblolly?” “I don’t care what he says. Chu...

  14. Emily Dickinson Comes Back

    I heard a fly buzz when I died. It was still buzzing, flinging its tiny blue self against the cold window, when I came back the next day. That strange and corruptive germ that had been robbing Death of his rightful charges had gripped me. I could feel ...

  15. Emily Dickinson 2.0

    I heard a fly buzz when I died. It was still buzzing, flinging its tiny blue self against the cold window, when I came back the next day. I had signed away what portion of me I could make assignable—namely, that dim and bottled essence some call ...

  16. Yesterday is Coming Fast

    After Chase de-boarded and claimed his luggage—it was, remarkably, all there—he decided to take one of the waiting lounges up on its name. Since Tokyo was his final destination, he had some time to kill. Deciding against a cold, overpriced ...

  17. Imperfect Order

    Kevin had to have everything just so. Just so. There had been too much to organize outside. Overwhelming. Not everyone wanted to be here, but the measured routine suited Kevin fine. He felt calm here. Peaceful. He got to arrange his room exactly the wa...

  18. A Second Opinion

    I cut right to the chase when she picked up the phone. “Ma, you never told me I was a dragon.” “Hello to you, too. Yes, my hip is fine. No, nothing much has happened to me in the two months since you last called.” “Ma R...

  19. And Lethe Runs Wide

    Before Charon could whip his jet ski around for another pass, however, something changed. More to the point, someone coughed. His eyes flashed, once, as he scanned the masses. Thousands of souls milled around, as always. Most were losing interest in hi...

  20. Genetic Drift

    After Faerie returned, the mundane corporations, naturally, scrambled to figure out how to capitalize on new revenue streams, how to maximize profits beyond CEOs’ wildest fantasies. Perhaps no one benefited as greatly as Monsanto, with its chemis...

  21. Labor

    “Why can’t I just have the baby while I’m sitting right here?!”

  22. It's What's for Dinner (Challenge Re-post)

    Prometheus gets all the sympathy. Sure, he set himself up as some sort of hero to those humans, what with giving them fire and all. But trust me: They would have figured the whole burning thing out themselves, especially with Zeus hurling his lightning...

  23. It's What's for Dinner

    Prometheus gets all the sympathy. Sure, he set himself up as some sort of hero to those humans, what with giving them fire and all. But trust me: They would have figured the whole burning thing out themselves, especially with Zeus hurling his lightning...

  24. Not a Gouda Sign

    He’s expecting to see stats about neural degeneration or something equally dire, but the monitor is just blinking from flat black to bright white. The changes speed up, until the screen is flashing like a strobe. “Why are you, uh, making th...

  25. Look Behind You

    The Places Nobody Is Looking are filled with strange Things, monstrous Things, though They are difficult to describe, for obvious reasons. These Things exist only in the absence of Sight. If an entire crowd is looking one direction, these Things will b...

  26. Hands and Teeth

    It wasn’t my face looking back at me in the reflection. At least I didn’t think it was, just for a moment. The glass wasn’t exactly polished to a high sheen, and I was still a little hazy from my unexpected trip to the floor, so I cou...

  27. Gaining a Daughter

    “C’mon! Do it!” The best man was tapping his fork against his Champagne glass. Cheryl winced, not at the sound, but at the thought of such an expensive, easily shattered piece of crystal in the hands of someone so obviously drunk. As ...

  28. Paint to Live

    I’ve never been able to fight the creative impulse. It’s an urge that hits me as fiercely as hunger or thirst. If I can’t paint, I starve. Of course, if I do paint, I get locked away. Because painting alone isn’t enough. My work...

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