Letter From The Editor - Issue 55 - February 2017

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Issue 24
Stories
Under the Shield
by Stephen Kotowych
Old Flat Foot
by Ross Willard
Whiteface Part I
by Jared Oliver Adams
Tales for the Young and Unafraid
The Floating Statue
by David Lubar
Orson Scott Card - Sneak Preview
Shadows in Flight - Chapter 1
by Orson Scott Card
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews

Writing Fantasy

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Second Chances Made of Glass and Wood
    by Michael T. Banker

2nd Place - Best Interior Art - 2011

Second Chances Made of Glass and Wood
Artwork by Eugene Carter

I stick my head through the door and spot the new doll, jerking and tripping over herself in the corner, making a racket with all of her clacking wooden parts. Of course Faerci's there too, that giant of a man, hunched over the pitiful thing. My own carved parts snick away as I run into the room and collapse onto the rug next to him, landing with my head propped against my hand. I always insist on seeing the new dolls when they wake up.

Ooh, and her eyes are still closed -- have I got timing or what? Probably only just came to.

I jump at the solid thud the doll's head makes when it hits the wall behind her. She's flailing her arms and kicking her legs -- good thing she doesn't have enough control to stay up on them or else she'd be running circles around the room. This one's excited; poor thing looks terrified.

Then I hear the familiar click and her left eye opens, revealing an empty glass orb in its socket. She freezes, looking right at me, and slowly tilts her head up to take in all of Faerci towering above her. Then she flops to the ground like a rag doll and throws her limbs around in another noisy, wordless tantrum.

I look up at Faerci. "Well, she can see, anyway -- your face scared the spirit out of her! But really, what's with the right eye? You glue it shut or something? Sloppy, sloppy."

"Did you say 'her'? Nattly, it's a boy! A boy! Can't you tell? Look in a mirror and see how I carve a girl."

I break down laughing as Faerci growls this at me. "Tell? No, I can't tell! Oh Faerci, you are dangerous. You like carving girls too much."

"Bah! It's the hair, that's all, and it's his own that I used for the wig, so you can hardly blame me for that. And that eye . . . probably, his eyelashes are sticking. Happens sometimes. Nothing to do about it 'til he calms down, if it doesn't fix itself in the first place."

"Sloppy, sloppy," I repeat. That gets a satisfying grunt out of him.

But when I look again, he's smiling. I caught him. Everyone knows Faerci has a soft spot for all of his creations, even if he looks gruff on the outside.

It's . . . quiet, I realize.

The doll is staring right at me, head lolling against its shoulder. Then there's another click and the second eye pops open.

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