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Introduction

Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it. ~ Lloyd Alexander

Here at Tell-Tale Press, we hope to entertain you with quality stories from talented writers around the world. Some stories may include graphic violence, erotica, or both. They have been indicated as such before the story begins. Thank you for joining us, and happy reading!

Creatures - Story 1 - The Spellweaver's Tale by Michael M. Jones

This story was first published in Elysian Fiction magazine, issue 2 (May 2002). It was originally written for a Cat Fantasy contest sponsored by Random House in conjunction with the release of The Wild Road by Gabriel King, sometime around 1998, and received an Honorable Mention.

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The river was high the morning after the heavy rains, made thick and dark by mud and debris, the water slopping far over the banks, wrapping around trees and bushes and generally making a nuisance of itself. Further down river, the water was already invading the basements of low-lying houses and apartment complexes. But here, where the houses had been set back far enough, it was nothing more than a reminder of the terrible thunderstorm of the night before.

The river was high, and Gabriel knew there was going to be trouble. He could feel it in his tail. It was that eerie combination of stillness and anticipation that always put his fur on edge and made him want to yowl for his mother.

But he was no longer a ki…

Creatures - Story 2 - Thunder in Old Kilpatrick by Gustavo Bondoni

This story was originally published in Undead and Unbound in August 2013.

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The skies came alive with a drone like a disturbed beehive and Richard glanced up at the heavens.

But only for a moment. There were more pressing things occupying his attention on Earth, wonderful things that he’d never imagined possible back in boring old London. Fluttering on the ground in front of him was a bird, red-headed and angry, dragging a broken wing through the heather. 

Richard wondered what to do with it. There was no question of just letting it be, not after he’d spent all afternoon trying to bring one down, but he was torn between the sheer delight of tormenting it, taking revenge on all of taunting, elusive bird-kind, or of nursing it back to health and having it for a pet. These weighty meditations were the reason that Old Tom managed to sneak up on him.

“I see you’ve got your first grouse, laddie.”

“A grouse?” He’d heard some of the men talking about grouses, and sometimes they even went out to…