Letter From The Editor - Issue 55 - February 2017

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Issue 15
Stories
Body Language
by Mary Robinette Kowal
Lo'ihi Rising
by Geoffrey W. Cole
Sweet as Honey
by Bradley P. Beaulieu
Aim for the Stars
by Tom Pendergrass
Folk of the Fringe Serialization
Pageant Wagon
by Orson Scott Card
Orson Scott Card Audio
Aim for the Stars, by Tom Pendergrass
Read by Orson Scott Card
Tales for the Young and Unafraid
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews

Writing Fantasy

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-   -   -   -   P   r   e   v   i   e   w   -   -   -   -

Sweet as Honey
    by Bradley P. Beaulieu
Sweet as Honey
Artwork by Nick Greenwood

All was silent as I lay in the rooftop garden above my home. I could remember neither the reason I'd come nor the duration of my stay. I couldn't, in fact, remember anything. My mind was so caught in the fugue of slumber that it seemed determined to hide the answers from me, and my body was so leaden it refused all calls to action.

I did after some effort manage to flutter my eyes open. Spread above me was a cloudy, cream-colored sky. The sigh of the Inland Sea returned soon after, and with it, the drone of my honey bees.

What a welcome sound. What a welcome sound, indeed.

Footsteps thudded toward me. A moment later Joseph Winslow was staring down at me, his woolen hat crumpled in one fist, his ragged face concerned. "You all right, Susanna?"

I wanted to answer him. I did. But I was helpless. My mind seemed unable to focus on anything but the world around me: the air, which smelled of brine and seaweed and smoking fish; the breeze, which chilled my skin; the ground, which rocked to and fro as if I were lying on the deck of a creaky old galley. Then, like an approaching storm, flesh and bone demanded their due consideration. My head ached, perhaps from the fall. My thumb was sore, and it seemed to be growing worse by the moment. My breathing, shallow only moments ago, was beginning to deepen, bringing with it a feeling of suffocation.

Joseph's voice became insistent. "Susanna, are you all right?"

I sat up, coughing. Joseph helped me to my feet, but it wasn't until I had removed my hat and pulled the bee keeper's veil from around my head and neck that my breathing came easier.

Everything around me seemed new. There was a partially filled beehive sitting on the ground nearby. Several of its frames already held bees; the rest were empty. For the life of me I couldn't figure out what it was doing there. I wasn't planning to work on the new colony until tomorrow --

I frowned at the painful red welt that glowered on the meat of my thumb. A tiny black stinger rested in the center of it. One of my bees . . .

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