flashfic

Occasionally Yoon will write a shorter piece that evokes a mood or offers a glimpse into a strange life, a strange world. These are available online in full for your enjoyment.

The Gate of Bells

At the northern border of a land where badgers play board games with comma-shaped stones and poems are inscribed on the very sycamores, a traveler paused at the Gate of Bells.  She wore a bow at her back, and her hair was the color of sentinel nightfall.

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The Garden of Rust

For the most part, starships are pragmatists.  The keen minds that live in those star-voyaging carapaces know, better than most, that what is written into the space-time substrate cannot be unwritten.

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The Fox’s Tower

The prisoner had lived in the tower at the center of the wood for moons beyond counting.  Even so, the walls were notched with pale crescent marks, crisscrossed into a tapestry of patient waiting.  Sometimes dew jeweled the rough-hewn stone floor; sometimes ice obscured the walls’ pale marks, and he wondered if the world outside had forgotten his existence.

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The Fox’s Forest

In the darkest reaches of a forest whose trees never whispered its name, there lived a fox.  She was not the smallest of her sisters and brothers, but her family reckoned that she was unlikely to continue the family’s tradition of grand seductions and shadowy games.  Even so, her mother said philosophically that there was more than one way to steal a chicken, and she would find her way into some foxish story.

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Forever the Stars

In times future, music will not be played upon vibrations in the air.  Harp, flute, drum all cast aside, trill and tremolo burnt from the page, damped vibrations, dead equations.  Some songs are too vast for human hearing.  Discard your scores and libretti; let them fall from your hands the way generation ships fall away from Earth, carrying their harvest of souls in keys minor, keys major, modes sweet to the ear.  The oscillating pattern of fleets launched toward points half-known, planets orbiting stars we see time-veiled: this is the symphony we shout into the void.

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The Firziak Mountains

The Firziak Mountains have many charms, from the spectacular springtime displays of cherry blossoms to the shrines with their gilded statues of the Blind Falconer, who is considered an apostate elsewhere in the region.  Then, too, there are the hawks, whose cries echo in the gorges and whose silhouettes punctuate the storm-lashed skies.

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The Dragon Festival

Once, on a tidy planet whose clouds wrote combinatorial equations across the sky in the morning and sieved the light into rich colors in the evening, there was a city of robots.  The robots had governed themselves for almost 496 of their years, and since they had a fondness for number theory, they planned a festival to celebrate.

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Dew-Weighted Roses

In a convent high in the mountains, where the stars hang barely out of reach and the wind sings stories of frozen songbirds and silvered firs, a sister-of-the-snow tends her garden.  It is not truly her garden, of course.  It belongs, insofar as it belongs to anyone on the wheel of the world, to all the sisters.  And it belongs most of all to that presence whose face is different in each season but whose name never changes, and who set the sun and moon in their courses.  But for all that, the sister spends more time in the garden than anyone else, so she thinks of it as hers.

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The Crane Wife

Once a peasant woman found a crane with a wounded wing in the woods.

“It is a hungry winter,” the woman said to the crane, “but it must be just as hungry for you as it is for me.”

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Chalice

Let’s sit down, you and I, and talk about the chalice.  There’s only one for the two of us.  And it’s empty, but it’s full of reflections.

From that chalice you can drink the moon and her entourage of stars, and their cloaks of black silk.  From that chalice you can drink the sun sheathed in gunsmoke clouds, and the unstaunched light.  From that chalice you can drink the ghosts of roses past.

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