I’d gotten a little…

I'd gotten a little behind on adding stories to my website (as they came out of exclusion periods with the print magazines / anthologies). Oops. Starting to catch up now -- here's "Sanctuary," which was published in George R.R. Martin's Wild Cards series. It was published in Fort Freak, as part of a mosaic novel, but I think it makes reasonable sense as a stand-alone story. There's a sequel, "Ties that Bind," that's just come out in the newly-published Lowball.

"Kavitha eased her way out of her daughter's room, closing the door quietly behind her. It had taken longer than usual to get her toddler down; Isai had insisted on telling her a long, incomprehensible story about Daddy and dragons. When Michael got home from the station, Kavitha would have to ask him if he'd said something to Isai. In Jokertown, it was entirely plausible that Michael had encountered real dragons in the course of his detective duties -- or at least something close enough to pass for real. He was going to have to stop reading his daughter police reports; Isai was getting old enough to understand them. And even though the child appeared to be fearless, some of the things Michael dealt with on a day-to-day basis terrified even Kavitha; Isai didn't need to hear all the gritty details of Daddy's job. Not yet. Isai might be an ace, with fearsome shapeshifting abilities, but she was also only two-and-a-half years old. Michael was just going to have to learn how to make stories up. Appropriate stories.

Kavitha was startled out of her newfound determination by a knocking on the door. Not loud, but somehow frantic. Who in the world? They didn't get a lot of visitors. Kavitha took a few quick steps down the hall to the apartment door, and peered through the little circle of glass. Her eyes widened as she took in the brown-skinned woman on the other side of the door, her face covered in blood and darkening bruises, her arm bent at an angle that was just wrong. Kavitha hesitated a moment, mindful of the child sleeping in the other room -- but this woman was small and soft and broken. Kavitha couldn't just leave her standing in the hallway. It wasn't as if Kavitha weren't able to defend Isai, if the need arose -- in theory, anyway. Michael kept urging her to practice using her powers as a weapon, but she hated weapons. Ironic, considering her boyfriend carried one every day."

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