1. She lived and breathed her art, saturating every moment of her life with a joy he could never emulate, only admire. She loved him, he knew that, but he would never come first.
2. Their stolen swords are sharpened to an edge meant for flesh not steel and they dent and deform as he parries with the improvised rebar staff. It’s brutally effective, but his heart breaks a little as he watches his uncle’s masterworks destroyed.
3. Seeing the future is a curse, not a gift, but I do my best to turn it into one.
4. “Think of me as a magical life coach,” the ferret said as it curled around her neck. “Or fairy godferret, if you must, but I am no one’s ‘familiar’.”
2. Their shadows flicker and twist independently of the light as the false heat shimmers of magic intensify around them
3. “Stop trying to change your life all at once,” she said with a wave of her half-finished danish. “Be like the bird and the pebbles.”
“You know, with the water in the glass and how it drops pebbles until the water is high enough to drink? Don’t drop boulders, don’t drop sand, drop pebbles.”
4. There are rules for war in polite society and he spend the years of preparation making sure they were engraved on his heart. He meant to keep what he conquered, unlike his father whose legacy was a trail of ash and bones.
5. Every year the leaves pile up in giant mountains ranges across the backyard and Father vows that this year will be the year he cuts all the oak trees down.
1. The whales breach from the ocean in spiraling arcs, turning the vampiric leeches to ash in the scattered heartbeats they are above the waves.
2. Life is made of nothing but regrets, countless hours spent staring into the darkness before sleep claims us replaying everything we could have– should have done.
3. In retrospect the fact her ex-boyfriend could never connect to her home wireless really ought to have been a sign. She’s not sure if the sign was leaning more towards ‘your boyfriend is an ass’ or ‘your network has developed an artificial intelligence and thinks your boyfriend is an ass’.
4. She just looks at me for a moment and then turns away. The I told you so she doesn’t say burns worse than salamander’s fire.