Letter From The Editor - Issue 68 - April 2019

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Issue 67
The Gilga-Mess
by Alex Shvartsman
Reading Dead Lips
by Dustin Steinacker
All the Things You Want
by Andrew Peery
by Brian Trent
The Cost of Wonder
by Leah Cypess
IGMS Audio
The Cost of Wonder
Read by Alethea Kontis
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews
Vintage Fiction
Sweetheart Come
by Alethea Kontis
Bonus Material
The Story Behind the Stories
by Dustin Steinacker

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Sweetheart Come
    by Alethea Kontis

Sasha was fourteen when the villagers threw her to the wolves.

She was mute: a quirk that eventually unnerved enough people to justify her banishment to the Wild Wood. She surprised them all by emerging from the Wood many months later without a scratch and heavy with child. This time it was the villagers who were struck speechless, but--enchanted or cursed--no one challenged Sasha's right to be there. Upon her daughter's birth, Sasha caught the midwife with her haunting gray eyes and said, "Mara," clear as a bell. The rest of her secrets she kept. By the next full moon, Sasha was gone.

Mara was raised by the midwife, embraced by the villagers, and ended up earning her keep as a huntress. Her tracking skills were unmatched and she had a sixth sense about her prey--virtues which kept the food stores well-stocked through the cold winters. When Fate found the man to tame her wild nature, Mara had one daughter, Rose. Rose "had a nose," and grew to become one of the most sought-after cooks in five counties. The man who sought out her heart instead of her pies was a humble woodcutter, and together they had a daughter named Aurelia, with a voice that could sing the sun down from the sky. When she was of age, Aurelia took up with a band of wandering minstrels, and so was the first since her great-grandmother to leave the village. She and her beloved fiddle player were also the first to bear a son, Bane.

Bane had a shy smile, a quick wit, and a heart of gold. From his grandfather, Bane learned how to cleave a piece of wood in two with one stroke. From his grandmother (and from experience), he learned to tell the difference between good mushrooms and bad. From his father he learned to play a variety of instruments well enough to coax out a melody for every occasion, but he preferred the fiddle. From his mother, Bane learned how to sing the sun down from the sky. Every evening they would trek to the edge of the village, to the top of the hill that looked down over the Wild Wood, and they would farewell the day. The selections varied with their moods and the seasons, but the last song was always the same lullaby Aurelia had sung to her son every night since his birth.

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