Otherwise, this whole being a bird thing? Not bad. Not bad at all.
It was Needle who first suggested robbing the Orangutan’s treasury. We were huddled under the tin-sheet roof of a roadside dhaba, stained china cups of chaisteaming between cupped palms, safe from the falling hail. It clattered noisily above us, bouncing off the roof and peppering the ground around our feet. We had nothing to fear from the hail, though, other than a few bruises. Snow was a different matter. But it hadn’t snowed in Karachi for a decade.
Shame. I knew its taste. Tar and salt, the last drag of Marlboro Lights, straight through the filter, on a balmy afternoon by the beach. The Hindi word for shame sounds like its English counterpart but its form was floating in the vicinity of my brain, waiting to drop at a moment’s notice.
This class will look at both the scientific uses of time travel as well as their fictional uses. Students will learn the importance of distinguishing Personal (Proper) Time from Co-ordinate (Calendar) Time, how that distinction can be used to overcome the common objections to time travel in the history of literature, and how to use closed time-like curves to visit the past.
Like most accidents, this one happened in slow motion: Sharra could only watch as her cat, Pumpkin, tightening his haunches and wiggling his rear, fixed his gaze on the usually-empty cart. That cart was now full of the glass bottles she’d moved carefully from the shelves for her weekly dusting. Large and small, frosty white and brightly colored, sturdy and delicate as spun sugar, all of them swirled with inner light. Her cries of “Pumpkin, no!” accompanied too-slow movements as he launched himself.
They name me a god, and I wish I was worthy of the title.
Margaret Appleheart remembered her father tossing her into the air, exclaiming how light she was, as though she were part of the air herself. When she was slightly older, she remembered being carried on his back when they went to town, held in place by her father’s hands to keep her from blowing away. As a teen, she learned to carry rocks in her pockets to hold herself down, or she tended to drift from step to step instead of plodding along the dirt or mud roads like most of the worn-out folk of Westham. Her father explained the need for her to hide her ability: “My little angel, you’re different from the others, and people will hate you for that.”
That night, as she shook out the laundry, Corinne got called in by her mam when the sun started tucking itself in behind the horizon, even though she was grown. “The rooks come out at dusk,” her mam said, the same warning she’d always given.
Sen was the twenty-third Chosen One to save the world. She knew she would not be the last.
We didn’t know the Dark Lord would raise an army of the dead. We never thought the young prince could turn traitor. We’re menaced by ghost-wolves, stranded in an outpost on the cold edge of the world, and all signs say that we are, as our first-year Master of Field Operations Planning would say, “utterly fucked.”