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Twelve tales of wonder and horror, adventure and mystery from a master storyteller —

Well, hello there.

I was waiting for you. So long. So, so long. So many days of wandering alone, so many nights huddled and scared. And all the time, scratching, scratching, scratching at my paper with my little black pen. All the time waiting for you to come and read.

from the introduction

A collection of short fiction by Jen Frankel

From a tiny village hidden by magic from war to a strange forest with no end, from a young woman questing for a book that doesn’t exist to a homemade Tarot deck that, in the wrong hands, warps the very fabric of reality.

These are not destinations for the faint of heart, but don’t worry. Come in, friends: how could shadows hurt you?

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The Stories

He Is Fifteen

A young teacher walks the line with a deadly fixation on a student.

Monstrous

The FBI’s newest recruit can look into the minds of murderers – but she doesn’t agree on who are the dangerous ones.

The Inner Life of Owl Woman

A strange friendship between a superheroine and supervillainess bears the oddest of fruit.

Bait

Determined to save a young man from being kidnapped, a girl discovers she is not playing the part in the drama that she believed.

Deal

On a camping trip, a bullied girl remakes her destiny, with horrific results.

Hallowed Ground

A pair of biologists dare to bring a child into their jungle world, but the jungle will claim her for its own.

A Small World

When the world seems too small, a woman finds she can step right out of it.

Dialogue With Snakes

A young stage manager enters the “Endless Forest” determined to be the first to make it through, or perhaps never return.

A Christmas in Arabia

After all its adults are called to war, a mystical snow descends on a tiny desert town.

From Blood & Magic

The Orange-Sky Storm

Deep in the country, one young boy apprentices himself to a magician, and his brother must bear the cost.

 
A Girl’s First Grimoire

Maggie Stuart, desperate to claim her occult legacy, searches for a book that doesn’t exist in a place it can’t be.

  
364 Days a Year

Cassandra can see on one day a year – with her eyes and her second sight. Now, if only everyone will leave her alone long enough to do a jigsaw puzzle!