3148B638-1228-41E2-82AD-3E355EA7FF05.jpe

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38. Work on what has been spoiled (II)

Inside the mountain there was a small cavern, and in the cavern there was a body swaddled in sheets. Ropes had been tied round the body...

37. Revolution (II)

The princess stepped over a small red stain on the flagstones. It was no larger than a penny, but still it caught her eye. Blood. It was...

36. Decrease (II)

Deep in the black pit a snake sat waiting. The pit was concealed in the town’s temple and, once a year, the temple opened its doors to...

35. Possession in great measure (II)

The princess was taken from her father and sold to a kingdom far, far away. It was not her father’s wish. Long ago, his line had fallen...

34. Conflict

From within his black sphere, the soldier contemplated the planet. He felt calm under the red glow of cabin’s lights. He had become calm...

33. Gathering together

From every corner of the kingdom, men and women came. They came on oxcarts and horses, on barges and junks, on horses and, most of all,...

32. Darkening of the light

The people gathered in the valley to watch the planet’s sun extinguish itself. The valley, cut through a desert, had been blasted by...

31. Possession in great measure

The king’s chamber was found beneath a stone circle, somewhere in the southern countryside. The circle itself was not very impressive;...

30. The Cauldron (II)

The bodies were piled on top of each other to such a depth that the Recorder could not see the bottom of the pit. The pit itself was very...

29. Inner truth

The monk sat in the centre of the lake. He was surrounded by a circle, and from the circle radiated precise concentric lines of water;...

28. Biting through (II)

He left the body where he found it, decaying in a shell crater. This was his second week in no man’s land; the second week fending for...

27. Work on what has been spoiled

This is the only question worth answering: can we regenerate ourselves? It is this question that stands behind science and the death of...

26. Abundance (II)

The harvest was gathered in a concave basin many miles across. The basin was not purely functional; it also had a ceremonial role in the...

25. The army

The leader stands on a column above the army. This assembly is a test; it is a test to see who will begin the march to the east. The...

24. The taming power of the small

A sparrow landed on the cloud. I had been sitting on the cloud for several hours, and I was surprised to see that a bird could do the...

23. Decrease

So the time of decline had come. People did not notice it for a while, except those who were the most estranged from the city. The city...

22. Deliverance

The sage was carried from his hovel wearing nothing but a small tunic. The tunic bristled the arms of the marine who carried the...

21. Revolution

“You know,” my grandmother used to tell me, “that man sheds coats just like any animal in the forest.” I used to laugh at her, as young...

20. Enthusiasm (II)

An old man told me, when I met him in a coffee shop, when we could still speak to strangers in coffee shops, that popular music is...

19. Enthusiasm

From the dock I could see the crowd, a crowd so great it fell back mile upon mile to the setting Sun. The city’s suburbs were shacks,...