short stories

The Shadow Postulates

Kaela Navus was reading a beginners’ sword-dancing manual when a hand descended upon her own, blotting out the diagram. She looked up, mouth opening in protest, only to have the scroll plucked from her grip and rolled shut. The black lines faded into ricepaper-white. “Teris!” Kaela said.

Her roomsister, Teris Tascha, set the scroll down on the escritoire out of Kaela’s reach. “You won’t learn the pattern for the Swallow Flies Home from a diagram,” she said. “It has to live in your muscles.”

A science fantasy (more fantasy with quasi-mathematical underpinnings) set in the future of a now-defunct fantasy novel; technically “Ghostweight” belongs to the same setting, although the two can be read independently. If you must know, it was spurred by nostalgia about the magic of even undergraduate-level theorem-izing, and the thought that mathematics can be a personal endeavor indeed. Thanks to Yune, Rilina, Chymera, Wendy S., Charles M., Mrissa, and S.G. Dedication: for Alex Winbow, with apologies to Fermat and Euclid’s Fifth. Originally published in Helix#5, Summer 2007. Now available here for your perusal.