Author: August Niehaus

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The Instinct
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The Instinct

I peer into the rear-view mirror of the Model 3, carefully lifting and tucking rolls of golden hair off my neck. Both my hair and my neck look best that way, and tonight I need to look my best. The Uber driver, who the app introduced to me as “Randy,” slams on his brakes and...

Read-Write
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Read-Write

Hent never held his breath. A witch’s curse kept his family from being swimmers or blowing out birthday candles or taking advantage of the wish-enhancing powers of tunnels, for fear of their held breath catching as per the terms of the curse. But here and now—in the Upper Bough of the supply tree, on Clean...

Son of Rock
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Son of Rock

January 7, 2319: Old Rock Day “I don’t understand why you choose to torment me like this,” Fred’s mother said, and Fred hung up and threw the phone across the room. He ground his teeth together. He had placed the long-distance call to StarChip III to wish her happy Mother’s Day, thinking—wishing? Dreaming? Naïvely believing?—she...

Hilda’s Secret
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Hilda’s Secret

“Bye, Mama!” Hilda squealed as she pushed out the door. Ylsa clung to her like a furry shadow, ducking to Hilda’s left side to avoid the satchel swinging at the girl’s side. “Before dark, Hilda!” Even through the closed door, her mother’s voice boomed hoarsely, a result of the projection spell she’d cast on herself...

Felix and Stella
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Felix and Stella

Stella is a witch. She’s not the kind of girl Felix can bring home to his mother, but he doesn’t care. His mother hasn’t called him down to the docks for months, and he knows the Felicity pulled out of port a few days ago. Felix is just glad Stella lets him climb up through...

Tea for Deux
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Tea for Deux

Not beloved, not reviled—just an essential color in the 1500-odd human tapestry of Willowglen, Minnesota: this was what Vivette and Shirley wanted to be, and had wanted to be for almost two decades now. That, and to finally host their grand tea party, once and for all. Here they were, in the perfect house for...

The Chessboard
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The Chessboard

The Monday morning sunlight had already made it intolerable to sit in the Accord. Shaylea shielded her eyes from the light reflecting off passing semis and sighed as she locked her phone. Two minutes until opening. She might as well spend them walking across the parking lot. Shay pulled her bright red polo over her...

The Dog
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The Dog

The seatbelt scratched Adi’s bare shoulder when he leaned forward to see over the Indica’s grimy red dash. Summer rays pelted him through the crack in the window, but he was not about to seal off his only relief from the stifling heat. The dusty road rolled out before them like an endless ribbon fluttering...

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