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Story under construction. Tidbit incoming:

My son is twelve, and he’s never seen a blue sky. Everything around us, from climate to monsters, grows more inimical to humans every day. The magical Mythos has no trouble adapting, but we are too slow, too weak, too helpless; we must accelerate our evolution, must direct our adaption, or our Earth will be the inheritance of the inhuman alone.

And I have to find a way to live long enough to find that key. Curse be damned, I –

The phone rings.

There’s too much on my mind. I don’t even bother to check who’s calling. “This is Iskinder.”

“Sol, this is Tom. I’m glad I caught you. Is the line secure?”

Tom. My only other surviving classmate from so many years ago, when my entire school was cursed for the crime of being human. “Give me a moment and it will be.”

My experiment can fortunately be put on hold. I walk past my son in the kitchen and give him the hand-signal indicating use of our home-made safe room.
Jason nods and goes back to his essay. I’ve been taking secure calls longer than he’s been alive, and this is nothing notable.

I shut myself in, activate the audio dampers, and hope nobody’s aiming spells in our direction because I have no way to block that kind of spying. “Secure.”
Tom speaks.

Everything changes.

My goal – my purpose, my species’ future, my son’s survival in a world that wants to kill him – finally comes within reach.


A three-times bestselling author, Ruthanne Reid has led a convention panel on world-building, taught courses on plot and character development, and been the keynote speaker for the Write Practice Retreat. Author of two series with five books and fifty-plus short stories, Ruthanne has lived in her head since childhood, when she wrote her first story about a pony princess and a genocidal snake-kingdom and used up her mom’s red typewriter ribbon in the process. When she isn’t reading, writing, or reading about writing, Ruthanne enjoys old cartoons with her husband and two cats, and dreams of living on an island beach far, far away. P.S. Red is still her favorite color.