Author : Katherine Cowley


Amenope stood next to the river, adjusting his nets. Ra, the sun god, beat down on his brown, tanned back. A taskmaster stood nearby, making sure no one neglected their duties. And then the pharoah’s royal barge arrived. Everyone prostrated themselves on the ground as their god passed.

Once the pharaoh was out of sight, Amenope glanced at the pharoah’s boat. It was marvelous, the grandest he had ever seen. The taskmaster approached and Amenope forced his eyes back to the ground. “Don’t even think about touching it,” said the taskmaster, and gave him a sore beating, even though he hadn’t gone near the boat.


Jarl stood outside the inn, breathing the fresh air. He adjusted his conical metal helmet. Though he had actually been born in Jorvik, not far north of here, he was still considered a foreigner–the Vikings had invaded, after all.

A man rode up to the inn and gave his horse to the stable boy. The man glanced at Jarl, then told the stable boy to make sure no riffraff went near his horse. Jarl raised his eyebrows in disbelief. He didn’t even know how to mount a horse, let alone ride one.


Louis stood outside the supermarket, leaning against the wall. It was night and he was waiting. He had a hipster beard and wore a hoodie against the cold.

A frumpy woman, with her awkward teenage son in tow, approached the supermarket. She looked at Louis, then quickly glanced away. She shoved her hand into her pocket and pulled out her keys, pointing them at the parking lot. The first time she pressed the button on the remote nothing happened, so she pressed it more fiercely. This time one of the cars beeped and its lights flashed as it locked.

As the woman and her son entered the store, Louis laughed. Sure, he had a beard, but that didn’t mean he was going to steal the woman’s car.


Sayer stood in the asteroid bar, sipping a blue drink as he watched the asteroids fly past. He had chosen a blue drink because it matched his blue hair and earrings.

A young aristo walked into the bar and was seated near him. She took in Sayer’s arm tattoos and his face, then asked to be reseated. Sayer heard her whisper to the attendant about the security of the spaceships.

Sayer ground his teeth together. He was a timesoul, one of those rare few gifted with both reincarnation and the faint memory of previous experiences. He had lived a hundred lives, with different names and identities, different cultures and religions. And after a hundred lives of being misunderstood, he didn’t care anymore if his next life he came back as a goat or even a rock. Sayer waited until the aristo received her drink. Then he left the bar and stole her spaceship.

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