Letter From The Editor - Issue 69 - June 2019

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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

Express to Paris by Dragon First Class
    by Tom Crosshill

Express to Paris by Dragon First Class
Artwork by Adam Peck

Jima dreamt of flying to Paris. As a child she swooped on the updraft over the Willamette, wings outstretched, and boomed out call signs -- "Jima to De Gaulle, dragon incoming!"

Weekends after school she prowled the PDX hangars and questioned the grizzly intercontinentals whose bellies bulged with oil. "Do they tickle, the humans in your harness?" They growled at her, and she learned better questions.

For her exams, Jima flew to Chicago with congressmen on her back -- "So the loss is least if you fail," the union rep told her.

A youth, a wife, then a single mother of green-tailed triplets, Jima flew regional out of O'Hare -- to Dayton, to Cleveland, to far-away New York. "One day mommy will fly to De Gaulle," she told the kids.

Even after the strike of '81, when Jima's friends left for the Preserve of Nebraska, she didn't let go of her dream. Came the machines, lumbering brutes with hard-edged wings and no union cards; first New York, then Houston, then Paris went mechanical. Jima flew tourists, crop dusters, ad banners. With every paycheck she bought a jar of oil and stored it in a special place.

"Come live with us," her children asked her. "You'll never save enough for Paris!" She shook her mane at them and laughed, and they stopped asking.

Jima was a strong dragon, a proud dragon, a tired dragon, a dragon whose eyes clouded up at night, whose wings ached in the mornings. The company didn't want her anymore, but she didn't notice. There was enough sky above the old drakes' home to stretch her wings. The attendant, a red-tailed whippersnapper, watched her carefully, yet every day she snuck away to her special place and counted her jars of oil.

When her children stopped visiting and the world grew altogether dark before her eyes, Jima went to that special place and drank all the oil she had hoarded. She turned her face toward the warmth of the sun and ran, and ran, and beat her withered wings, and took to the sky. Nothing left for her in the old country. Paris remained. Paris awaited.

"De Gaulle! De Gaulle! Clear the runway!" she boomed. The hills of Illinois shook with her voice.


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