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“Statue” – short story

Once upon a time there was a sculptor named Kumar, who carved statues of spirits and deities for the temple in his village. One day, the pujari of the temple brought him a block of marble bigger than himself. The marble was cold when Kumar first touched it. The gaze of the pujari was cold and factual, too, but unlike the gaze, the stone warmed under his hands. He felt its grain, caressed its surface. Finally he put his ear to the marble block and listened.

‘Let me out.’

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“Payment” – short story

Dry land was scarce since the Flood. What remained were thousands of islands scattered about the endless ocean. Of them, only few were large enough to support a town this size. Fiorello recalled the stories his grandmother had told him, the ones her grandmother had told her in turn. Stories about fields of grass and grain as far as the eye could see; stories of people who travelled by land to the cities that housed millions. Fantastic tales, but little more. All he had ever known was this island, this town. As a child, he had thought these shores were the end of the world. How much he had learned since then.

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“Prize” – short story

Albert’s chest swelled with joy to the point where he thought he would break the buckles of his battered harness. Such a fight! Such a victory! Even the King was content at last! Albert had won many a tournament like today’s, but never before had his father’s approval been among his prizes. The King hadn’t smiled since the elder of his sons had exiled himself, but after today Albert would no longer be the runt, only suffered in his brother’s stead. Today, his skills and speed had been the downfall of the strongest knight on the field.