Letter From The Editor - Issue 56 - April 2017

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Issue 19
Stories
Expendables
by Orson Scott Card
Schadenfreude
by Michelle Scott
Deathsmith
by Pete Aldin
Bonus OSC Story Serialization
Eye for Eye Part Three
by Orson Scott Card
IGMS Audio
Expendables by Orson Scott Card
Read by Orson Scott Card
Tales for the Young and Unafraid
Growing Pains
by David Lubar
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews

Writing Fantasy

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

Deathsmith
    by Pete Aldin

Deathsmith
Artwork by Nicole Cardiff

Light twinkled from the coin as it spun. Aris watched the woman watching it, his hands splayed on the trestle table he had set up by the roadside in front of his home.

He could set a coin spinning far longer than it should, much to the awe of customers, and without magick involved. Usually he enjoyed this part of the ritual of trade. Today he glanced at the copper circle turning on its edge with a hollow feeling, despite the obvious wonder on the face of the woman before him. The fact that he could think of no other natural talent in his possession but this . . . this parlor trick -- well, it took the shine off the moment.

Lately he had been increasingly troubled by bitter thoughts such as this. Perhaps it had to do with all the gray he was finding in his hair since Summer. Perhaps it was the approaching Winter. Perhaps it was the lack of recent business . . .

"How are you doing that?" the woman asked, her head pulled so far back that her jowls formed a second chin beneath the first.

He slid the sleeve back from one wrist and waggled the fingers of that hand.

"Madam. You sought a mage and a mage you have found." He snatched the coin from the table before it could begin wobbling. "You also seek a death, I take it."

She popped her chin forward out of the grip of her jowls, and said, "I'm told you are a deathsmith." She said the word oddly, as if she were speaking it for the first time.

"You are well-informed but for one detail. I am not a, rather I am the Deathsmith," he added when she didn't follow his verbal subtlety.

"Oh."

"You have paid me my attention fee." He opened his fingers briefly to display the copper coin one last time before pocketing it. "You have my attention. Whose death do you desire?"

She smiled in a predatory way. "It's my husband, you see."

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