Category Archives: Hetero

Edward Lane’s Argosy Chapter One: The Blind Lady Of Tudley House

by Ian Ironwood
Chapter One: The Blind Lady Of Tudley House

Edward did not like the looks of the old country manor, no matter which angle he saw it. It was dark and dreary, and it had been years—decades!—since anyone had maintained the place. A Tudor style, two-story affair, the decrepit pile of bricks was covered in vines and dirt. The lawn had not been tended, the windows were caked with coal soot from the Bloomfeld plant a mile away, and the once-stately slate roof looked like the hide of a dragon after a particularly rowdy fight with a vengeful knight. There was an air of misfortune and misery that hung over the place, as if great misdeeds and missed opportunities had accumulated over the years in layers as thick as the dust.

     Edward should have had a home like this himself, he thought with a sigh. Only not so dreary. His college friends, the cream of the realm’s aristocracy, had such places to spare: the accumulated inheritance of generations. This home could have been magnificent under his care, he knew, a worthy estate for a country gentleman or industrious peer. It was precisely the sort of thing he aspired to—had aspired to for years, actually. Only Edward Lane was without inheritance of any significance.

A Cold Night In New Barcelona

by Dimitri Markotin
It was raining outside, pouring down in cold sheets, the kind of rain that keeps even children indoors. It was raining inside, too. Just a soft drizzle from the few dozen leaks that peppered the soda-can-shingle roof, and a soft spray as the wind blew in through the holes in the walls.
     James stood in front of his favorite of those holes in the wall. Floor to twelve-foot ceiling, it was a jagged scar of exposed brick and torn wiring. It looked out over the rest of the city splayed out below. Candles were lit in windows nearby, like starlight. Electric lights glared in the skyscrapers downtown, high-powered beams shot out from the police airships tethered to the tallest buildings. An abandoned warzone lay between the two.
     A figure on a bicycle crossed through the no-mans-land, slowing to dodge potholes.

Homecoming, Part One

by Victor Chablon
She’s my tinkerer.
     I’ve called Lill that for the ten years I’ve known her. Oh, it’s a presumptuous thing to call her, particularly because she is most certainly not a tinkerer—she’s a master clocktocker and steamer.
     But it’s an especially presumptuous thing to call her, because she’s never been mine. Lill’s always been her own master, a tenacious controller of her destiny. Even after we married and our fiery wooing slid into a few well-worn patterns of domesticity, she was never anyone’s but her own. I loved her for that, for that untamable side of her. Lill, my wild woman with the goggles and the gloves. My tinkerer.

Emerson and Adalia

by Dimitri Markotin
It was obvious to Emerson—and likely most every guest of the garden party—that the raven-haired beauty bore no invitation. Certainly, she was well corseted, bustled, and dressed; her gown swept the stone pathways, its neckline revealed gorgeous collarbones. But her hair was not done up and came only to her bare shoulders. She wore no hat and her skin was tanned to olive. She was not society.

A Man of the Waste

by Margaret Killjoy
Icar relaxed in the shade of the brick store, his long legs stretched out in front of him on the cobblestone, his small pack at his side. He had never seen been to The Vare, and the city was disorientating; people of all sizes and styles hustled their way through mid-day crowds without saying hello to one another, and nobody had yet taken any notice of the gangly, shirtless stranger from the Waste.