Second Place Winner: The Will of the Sky

Second Place Winner: The Will of the Sky

By Cassandra Hamm   Mahzar sat cross-legged on the sandy floor and gripped his staff to still his trembling hands. Suluboya’s painted face stared at him from the corner of the tent as if waiting for him to renounce his promotion.   “This is the will of the...
First Place Winner: Ella

First Place Winner: Ella

By Kate Flournoy   Sand swirled like a plague of locusts across the plain, spitting against Travis’s goggles. A line of fenceposts and an abandoned bunker contentedly slept while the world died around them.   Travis looked over his shoulder. The wind had...
The Seeds of Forget-Me-Nots

The Seeds of Forget-Me-Nots

“Home,” Asher’s escort said, handing him a set of keys. He splayed the keys out in his palm. Which one?   But his escort had already returned to the car and started the engine.   Asher tested several keys in the lock before one turned. The door creaked as he...
Shelf

Shelf

“Please read me!” Hardcover whispered as the top of a brown-haired head paused in front of his shelf. Though he knew humans couldn’t hear him, he repeated the plea over and over. Fingers crept toward him, creating a trail in the dust. If Hardcover had lungs, he would...
The Undertaker’s Son

The Undertaker’s Son

By Anne of Lothlorien   I built my first coffin when I was thirteen years old.   Father said it wasn’t good enough.   I built another. And another. For five years, they were never satisfactory, but Father was too weak to work, so the deceased in our...
To Be Feared

To Be Feared

Arron didn’t believe in panicking. The threat of imminent loss brought fear, but few would dare steal from him or his team.   But there were some. And that knowledge, combined with the fact that his brother hadn’t yet returned, made his stomach coil.   Arron...
Shadow Heir

Shadow Heir

Josan clutched the doorframe, doubling over with a ragged cough. Smoke pricked his eyes with a hundred tiny daggers. He gagged, pressing his face into the crook of his arm.   Orange flickers laced the opposite side of the great hall, wreathing ornate tapestries...
Second Place Winner: Endbringer

Second Place Winner: Endbringer

The time has come for the king to die.   I wrap my cloak around me, feeling chilled despite my burning thirst to be anywhere but here in this moment. I hate what I do, and my heart beats hollow in my ears as I step into the sunlight, bearing no shadow, leaving no...
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