Letter From The Editor - Issue 69 - June 2019

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Issue 7
Silent As Dust
by James Maxey
Lost Soul
by Marie Brennan
The Price of Love
by Alan Schoolcraft
The Braiding
by Pat Esden
After This Life
by Janna Silverstein
The Smell of the Earth
by Joan L. Savage
From the Ender Saga
Ender's Homecoming
by Orson Scott Card
Tales for the Young and Unafraid
The Talk
by David Lubar
Split Decision
by David Lubar
A Plague of Butterflies
by Orson Scott Card
InterGalactic Medicine Show Interviews

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The Smell of the Earth
    by Joan L. Savage

The Smell of the Earth
Artwork by Scott Altmann

"How much will you wager on your belief?" The wizard tapped her fingernails beside a puddle of spilled ale on the table and leaned so close that the sweetness of her perfume only half hid the acridness of her sweat and the smell of sex. "You Jongleurs say you can affect any heart with music. Will you prove it?"

I tugged on my cloak to cover the hole in my tunic. Why was she talking to me, she in her jewels and furs? She obviously had riches and power enough to buy whatever she wanted. Why speak to me, Jongleur, gypsy, outcast.

"Prove it?" I asked stupidly.

"What will you wager? All men desire something."

In a whole lifetime of loss, how many people have a chance to gain what they long for? Who can discover what he longs for, given a month to think? I had too much ale in me and her warm, full breasts pressed over her arm on the table until they blossomed out the top of her bodice and her eyes trapped me on my bench, demanding an answer.

My mind flitted over the things that all men want. Riches, fame, sex. With her watching me from the depths of those compelling eyes it was hard not to think about the sex, but as well ask a star to come down from the heavens and share my bed. And what good were riches? With my wife and son dead, I had no one to spend them on.

"I want to be known as the greatest Jongleur who ever lived."

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