They will be moving on to compete in future rounds, but not right away. Starting tomorrow our combatants will be:
Stars, Wings, and Knitting Things by J.G. Formato vs. Riders in the Sky by V.F. LeSann
Above the Silver Sky by Dan Koboldt vs. The Last Ride of Hettie Richter by Cat McDonald
For now, let’s enjoy short excerpts from the stories whose equines were eliminated in this round–because even though they didn’t prevail today they are great tales, and they’re all good equines, Bront.
Excerpt from “A Glory of Unicorns” by Jane Yolen:
A tapestry, a tempest, we
Have nothing sentimental. See
That herd of odd-shaped stallions cross
The valley, sort of, kind of horse
Excerpt from “Lightless” by K.T. Ivanrest:
Already Fulsa was halfway across the room, nerves coursing around his stomach while he unbuttoned his shirt and tossed it on a nearby chair. Immediately the room grew lighter, and desperate hope fired in his heart. Perhaps he was brightening after all. Perhaps his nightmare was finally over.
He slid a sheer coat across his shoulders and then studied his hands, but could discern no difference in their glow. Here in this secluded tower with only Phaios for company, he had no way to determine whether there had been any further dimming. Beside the lightless slave he always looked radiant, so bright he could almost forget what was happening, and then the empress would visit and he’d see just how quickly his dignity and worth were seeping out of his skin.
A last glance out the window while he clenched his fists and tried to calm his heartbeat. Another last glance toward Phaios, whose silent nod spoke more clearly than any words.
Then he knelt before the door and waited.
Aithra’s footsteps were mere tps on the polished stone, her presence announced instead by the brilliance which preceded her up the staircase, pressing away the shadows with proud disdain and careless ease.
Her gossamer coat rustled softly, scattering specks of light like jewels for the less fortunate. Even knowing how much of it was unnatural, he envied her splendor. To have so much to shed…