Every now and then, a stranger finds his way to a town called Silence.
Walking through the dark and winding streets, he may huddle deeper inside his coat against the chill. Winds blow in from the harbor and down from the snow-steeped mountains. Even the tangled woods to the east are useless against the relentless wind chafing his skin. The wind does nothing to wash away the stink of rotting kelp and fish that emanates from the harbor. The air tastes of ash and neglect. The stranger looks around at the rocky coast, the weathered shacks that line the broken cobble street, the small boats bobbing at the docks, and wonders if the night could be any darker, or if he has ever felt more alone. Even the stars are lost behind the smoke haze of the sky.
There, suddenly, a light appears in the dark. A tavern. Approaching, he hears the sounds of conversation inside, the clank of tankards, and the scraping of spoons against wooden bowls. Above his head, the weathered sign swings in time with the beat of his heart, the sign for The Eye of the Storm ...
4) Lazarus Had it Easy by Jp Lafond.
Goody Miller wearily wiped her brow, leaving a smear of wheat flour. Even with the windows open on this sweltering summer day, the kitchen reminded her of the ultimate fate of the unwary soul...
5) Grotti's New Song by Rev DiCerto.
Wolfgang Mysen had lived in Silence for a long time – longer than anyone else. If anyone asked him, he would tell them that he’d been there for twenty-five years, having arrived on a ship as a young man...
1) Mystery's Meat by Bill Racicot.
Every afternoon on her way to work, Mystery rode her rusty, squeaking bicycle across the harbor town of Silence, past the convent school that she, like the children of most of the town’s more comfortable families, had attended as a girl...
2) Jedediah Sharp, Witch Hunter Ordinare by Rose Mambert.
Jedediah “Red” Sharp spent the evening nursing a bottle of gin in the Eye of the Storm, vexed for all the usual reasons...
3) Ars Moriendi by Josie Brown.
The osprey tracked the arc of Evangeline's boot as she swung it back and forth under her perch on the bowsprit. The two of them balanced on the beam, watching the water below as they sped towards Silence...