Letter From The Editor - Issue 56 - April 2017

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Issue 6
Stories
Night of Falling Stars
by Steven Savile
Great Mother, Great Father
by William Saxton
The Price of Love
by Alan Schoolcraft
A Spear Through the Heart
by Cherith Baldry
From the Ender Saga
Ender's Stocking
by Orson Scott Card
Tales for the Young and Unafraid
Lost and Found
by David Lubar
This is Only a Test
by David Lubar
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews

Writing Fantasy

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

A Spear Through the Heart
    by Cherith Baldry
A Spear Through the Heart
Artwork by Kevin Wasden

Crispin shifted the ladder to one side, and repositioned the lamps. At the top of the wooden panel, surrounded by the extravagant wings of the heavenly host, the painted Christ returned in majesty. Crispin examined His face, framed in thick black curls, the broad scholar's brow, the eyes where he had tried to render kindness, the firm mouth with understanding and even a touch of humour. A shiver ran through him. Would he be accused of blasphemy, to paint a Christ whose features all too clearly echoed those of Dr. Stanford? A man who even now stood trial for his life, and who would surely burn in the fires of the Inquisition?

Less than a month ago, Crispin Peveril had been struggling through the crowds in St. Giles, caught up helplessly as they pressed forward to witness the latest execution. Two scholars of the University, so gossip said, sent to the fire for attempting to conjure a demon. Crispin could see nothing but black smoke billowing upwards, and the avid faces of the men who jostled him. But he could smell the stench of burning beneath the stink of sweaty bodies, and beyond the baying of the crowd he could hear a raw screaming.

Crispin retched; a glittering darkness surged around him. Stumbling, he almost went down under the trampling feet of the mob. Then he felt a hand grip him beneath the elbow and steer him out into the open. Someone sat him down and thrust his head between his knees.

After a few moments the darkness cleared away. His body was bathed in a cold sweat. Blinking, he looked up to find himself sitting on a mounting block outside the Eagle and Child. A man was looking down at him, blocking out his view of the crowd and the burning. "Are you better now?" he asked.

Crispin thrust his hands through damp hair. "Yes, I thank you, sir."

He studied his rescuer: a neat, compact man, dressed in a scholar's dark coat with white bands at his throat. He was gazing down at Crispin with interest and sympathy with lively dark eyes.

"I think not," he murmured. He placed a hand on Crispin's forehead, tilting his head back. "Young man, when did you last eat?"

Embarrassment flooded over Crispin. "This morning," he lied.

"Nonsense. Come with me."

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