Short Stories

“I labor over the sigils, working and re-working them into the staff’s heartwood. Devotion wears a groove and, like all ritual, becomes its own reward.”

— From “The Sigilist’s Notes on the Fell Lord’s Staff”

Wind Settles in the Bones

Cast of Wonders, October 2022. 3,500 words.

Turbulence jolted Syn. Her board nearly bucked her as it dropped down a gradient the turbulence had hidden. Too fast. Syn chided herself to lean into her instincts. She was thinking too much. Racing was a magic trick, and if she thought about it too hard the magic vanished.

Syn is on the cusp of becoming the top-rated solar wind racer when she learns that her estranged father has died. Can she untangle her complicated feelings about her dad, navigate her relationship with her coach Fiona, and still beat the other two racers ahead of her in the standings?

The Sigilist’s Notes on the Fell Lord’s Staff

Baffling Magazine, October 2021. 1,000 words.

If I spoke unguardedly, I do not know what would spill past my lips. Even the smallest crack in a dam is doomed to widen.

So I confine my thoughts to these notes and hide them where none can find them.

A sigilist makes notes on the improvements he’s making to his Fell Lord’s staff. As an enemy moves ever closer to the heart of the Fell Lord’s kingdom, the sigilist’s devotion, worry, and desire creep into those notes.

Physics By the Numbers

Escape Pod, January 2020. 4,200 words.

Nevaeh loved how simple equations gave rise to complex behaviors. She loved how experiments, imperfect as they were, helped them understand those behaviors. She loved being part of a community that expanded the frontiers of human knowledge. She loved knowing a little about a lot of physics, and a lot about her little piece.

Nevaeh’s graduate physics department has started using a machine learning algorithm to decide which students to keep and which ones to let go. Nevaeh contorts herself to meet the enigmatic demands of the algorithm, hiding away the heart of who she is, but how long can she keep that up?