This issue of Shimmer is a little in need of remembering that awful things may be overcome, one way or another. Winter passes once more into spring, the light eclipses the shadow, the ring melts into goo, and the horrors ease backward, away from all we love.
Faint Voices, Increasingly Desperate, by Anya Johanna DeNiro
The silk threads of grief and time snap and spin away from the black looms, but all Freia wants to do is go back to Vienna. Dozens of women work the looms in the magnanery. Hands fly as the threads spin out of the boiling cocoons. Freia doesn’t work on the looms though. She’s not patient enough. Instead she sets the strands of damp, slightly sticky silk from the cocoons, hooking them to the spindle to unravel them, as the objects inside the cocoons die from the scorching water. (5900 words)
Gone to Earth, by Octavia Cade
His body was racked with chill and he hunched in his bed, trying to breathe with the rhythm of tides, to slow his heart to growing things. Yet even the warm night air of the Coromandel summer, straight from the coast and rustling through rātā trees, couldn’t dispel the cold. The nightmares still came regularly, suffocating waves of homesick regret. Strange that they hadn’t passed now that he was home again and anchored to the world of the living, and even stranger that they came from an adventure marking him a hero. He’d even felt heroic at the beginning, but all the bravery of heroism had come from ignorance, the assumption of a strength not yet tested because the testing was unimaginable. (3800 words)
What the Skeleton Detective Tells You (while you picnic),
by Katherine Kendig
There are old skeletons, brittle-looking, skulls bleached by the sun and moss halfway up their shins. There are new skeletons with dark stains on their bones, like sycamores just shedding their bark. Real trees, too: big spreading elms, shady maples. Paths crispy with fallen leaves that look, at first glance, like withered skin. Soft shadows and a few nice places to picnic. (4700 words)
You, In Flux, by Alexis A. Hunter
Something happened to you after you had the baby. (800 words)
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