Letter From The Editor - Issue 57 - June 2017

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Issue 3
Stories
Dream Engine
by Tim Pratt
The Adjoa Gambit
by Rick Novy
Xoco's Fire
by Oliver Dale
Small Magics
by Alethea Kontis
Fat Town
by Jose Mojica
From the Ender Saga
Cheater
by Orson Scott Card
Audio Bonus
Cheater
Read by Orson Scott Card
Tales for the Young and Unafraid
Hats Off
by David Lubar
Running Out of Air
by David Lubar
Senior Paper
Special Software Bonus
I-Wei's Amazing Clocks
by I-Wei Huang

Writing Fantasy

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To Know All Things That Are in the Earth
Artwork by James Owen

To Know All Things That Are in the Earth
    by James Maxey

Allen Frost assumed the first cherub he spotted was part of the restaurant's Valentine's decorations. He and Mary sat on the enclosed patio at Zorba's. He'd taken a pause to sip his wine when he first saw the cherub behind the string of red foil hearts that hung in the window. The cherub was outside, looking like a baby doll with a pair of pasted-on wings.

A second cherub fluttered down, wings flapping. A third descended to join them, then a fourth. Allen thought it was a little late in the evening to still be putting up decorations, but he appreciated the work someone had put into the dolls. Their wings moved in a way that struck him as quite realistic, if realistic was a word that could be used to describe a flying baby.

Then the first cherub punched the window and the glass shattered. Everyone in the room started screaming. The cherubs darted into the restaurant, followed by a half dozen more swooping from the sky. Mary jumped up, her chair falling. Before it clattered against the tile floor, a cherub had grabbed her arm. She shrieked, hitting it with her free hand, trying to knock it loose, until another cherub grabbed her by the wrist.

Allen lunged forward, grabbing one of the cherubs by the leg, trying to pull it free. He felt insane -- the higher parts of his brain protested that this couldn't be happening. Nonetheless, his sensory, animal self knew what was real. His fingers were wrapped around the warm, soft skin of a baby's leg. White swan wings held the infant aloft. A ring of golden light the size of a coffee cup rim hovered above the angel's wispy locks. The whole room smelled of ozone and honeysuckle. The cherub's fat baby belly jiggled as Allen punched it.

The angel cast a disapproving gaze at Allen, its dark blue eyes looking right down to Allen's soul. Allen suddenly stopped struggling. He felt inexplicably naked and ashamed in the face of this creature. He averted his eyes, only to find himself staring at the angel's penis, the tiny organ simultaneously mundane and divine and rude. He still had a death grip on the cherub's leg. Gently, the cherub's stubby hands wrapped around Allen's middle and ring fingers. The cherub jerked Allen's fingers back with a SNAP, leaving his fingernails flat against the back of his wrist.

Allen fell to his knees in pain. Mary vanished behind a rush of angels, a flurry of wings white as the cotton in a bottle of aspirin. Her screams vanished beneath the flapping cacophony. Somewhere far in the distance, a trumpet sounded.

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