Redhead 012: Klementin and the Firelords
15 October, 2013 · sub-genre is swords and sorcery
written by Dany G. Zuwen
Beyond the smoky horizon, the mountains were on fire. When Jon and his small army arrived in viewing distance of the village, the red sky roared like a hungry monster. Fireballs the size of small dwellings streaked out of fast-scattering clouds to crash on an ashen background. The explosions rippled into the ground like waves into a pond. Jon peeked behind his shoulders. Aynee's eyes were riveted on the sky, the two sparkling emeralds reduced to mere slits as she squinted to counter the overcast clouds. Something in her stare troubled Jon. Something he had never seen once on her face since he had known her. Fear.
Jon sank his heels into his impala's sides. "Let's go!" he shouted and all one hundred of his men followed him down the mountain... [more]
Redhead 011: The Visitors
6 October, 2013 · sub-genre is alternate world
written by Todd Scott Moffett
They came out of the forest, two of them, a small man and a small woman, and as bold as you please walked down the lane between the houses. They held hands and frowned at each door, ignoring the stares we all threw at them, until they came to Weaver's house and climbed the steps and knocked. Weaver's wife opened and raised her eyebrows at them. The small man said something, then Weaver's wife said something, and then she let them into the house and shut the door.
All of us working outside glanced at each other. No one ever came out of the forest. There was just the forest, and the village, and we villagers, and nothing had changed since time out of mind. Now everyone's eyes found me. I was the mayor, and Weaver's closest neighbor. If anyone was to find out what was happening, the chore fell to me... [more]
Redhead 010: The Other Side Of Town
6 October, 2013 · sub-genre is contemporary
written by B R Sanders
Asher lumbered down the stairs from his apartment to the bar below. He came down armed with a lit cigarette in one hand and a mug of Semadran black tea in the other. It had been a raucous night, and he hadn't managed to chase out the last few patrons until near dawn. The problem with raucous nights and lingering patrons was that they drank up all the stock. Asher slipped into the storeroom and balanced his mug on a tilted crate near the door. He cranked the clockwork lantern until it whirred to life. Tinny yellow light flooded the room. He grabbed a notebook and pencil from a shelf next to the door and took stock. He was nearly out of dark ales. The Qin wine, as always, sat untouched. He could stand to pick up more Vilahnan whiskey if he could get a good price.
A knock at the back door broke his concentration. Asher took a long, final drag on his cigarette. He dropped it on the floor, stamped it, and pulled two cigarettes from his pocket. One he held in his mouth, and the other he tucked behind his ear... [more]
Redhead 009: Ogre
29 September, 2013 · sub-genre is swords and sorcery
written by Jason A. Zwiker
The sky was lost in a rancid smear, like lilacs gone to rot, heavy with rain. Philip, weary from walking the long mountain path, huffed in frustration. The storm was approaching faster than he’d anticipated. In fact, approaching no longer seemed the proper word. The air felt colder, all at once. The first few drops of water hit on his shoulder, on his cheek, and in the dry dirt at his feet. There was nothing to be done for it now but run for cover. He’d set his eyes on a nearby grove of trees when, by chance, he noticed, for the first time, a castle in the distance, just around the bend. It’s a coin toss, he thought. But it really wasn’t, was it?
The sky opened up before he was halfway there. He was drenched (soaked to the bone, his mother would have said), long before his knuckles hit that ancient wooden door.
He didn’t have to wait for long.
“You are fortunate,” the lord of the castle said, opening the door wide and gazing down on him. “It is not easy to walk these paths when... [more]
Redhead 008: Pacific Echoes
15 September, 2013 · sub-genre is contemporary
written by Charles E.J. Moulton
The deep blue tone of the Sunday morning sky drove her out of the house, away from her lonely breakfast table, onto her private beach. The green grass on the peninsula gave Amanda a reason to take the easel, the canvas, the paint and the brushes out and discover a familiar view anew. She chose her favorite spot and settled down a few paces away from her house by the bay, close to the water.
At first, she watched the almost cloudless early summer sky. The occasional cloud slowly drifted across the blue eternity. The slight wind blew little bubbles into the white fog of the cumulus gave her a kind promise to remain steadfast until she had captured it in oil. The deep blue color shifted into turquoise and onto a kind of greenish blue color. Higher up in the stratosphere, though, the lighter blue tones transcended almost into white. Deeper down, the darker and richer shifts and tinges appeared.
Four or five different colors and one mornings work waited right here.
Amanda began, hearing those Pacific echoes splash against the shore. She lifted her brush and dipped it into the color, mixing the blue with the white and... [more]
Redhead 007: Interitus
8 September, 2013 · sub-genre is high fantasy
written by Emillia Gryphon
Avery Cook crouched as low as his aching knees would allow, rocking back and forth on the hard wet bricks. The Watchers had long since passed their nightly rounds but still he shivered at the prospect of being caught. Street urchin orphans were one of the many things that the city of Interitus frowned upon; even as much as they frowned upon fairies, hobgoblins, sprites or any other type of fae. Hastily he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and began his crawl down into his home in the sewers. It was not an ideal living; there were numerous dangers besides the Watches who patrolled the streets. For nearly twelve months now there had been whispers of something lurking under the prospering city. Avery shook his head out of his fears as his feet landed in sludge and he ducked between the iron bars that strained out water from the other larger debris. He scanned the grate momentarily, hoping to find something to eat but there was nothing. With a sigh and a sniff he pushed himself forwards, his eyes straining to see in the dark. Ten years after his parents' murder, Avery had found no better... [more]
Comic Special: Knights Versus Werewolves
1 September, 2013 · sub-genre is historical
written and drawn by Robert White
here be pictures... [take a look]
Redhead 006: Chosen
25 August, 2013 · sub-genre is heroic
written by Shannon Barnsley
He was the chosen one. King Tamman. The Lion of Ibelya, Knight of the People, the flame-haired one of prophecy, slayer of tyrants and savior of Lochsrun. The very gods had whispered to the Blessed Sisters of his coming. Sacred prophecy and commoner's prayer alike had foretold his deeds.
And Ryka was going to kill him.
She checked the clasp on her cloak and the laces of her boots for the dozenth time. The once reassuring weight of the daggers tucked into her boot and vambrace no longer provided any comfort. Blood pounded in her head to the anxious beat of a war drum.
Everything in the last year of her life had been for this moment. Now that it was here, she felt neither the hunger for justice nor the thirst for vengeance. It took all her willpower not to vomit.
"I hate to ask so much of you, Ryka," Acharian told her.
He looked at the girl before him: sixteen, confident in her sapling strength, a child still.
"No more than you asked of Tamman." Ryka saw how her words wounded him, but a fury burned away any remorse.
It was hard for Ryka to imagine he had... [more]
Redhead 005: A Black Heart In Parzah
18 August, 2013 · sub-genre is swords and sorcery
written by Kevin Kuhns
Sweat. All of life’s little riddles were answered by it. It was the one thing in this miserable world he could count on. Sweat had accomplished everything that he could call his own. Sweat had bought him every advantage he could count, and it had saved his life more times than he could recall. It was his virtue and his salvation. A single drop of sweat rolled down his forehead, over his thin eyebrow and dropped to the floor in front of him. He watched it fall, tumbling through the air, to splatter against the pool of blood that had collected there on the floor. He knew that there were men that could see sublime poetry in events such as this, but none of those men were here. The clubbing hand of his assailant mocked his introspection, reminding him of how the world hated him.
There were only three of them. On any given day, killing them would hardly be worth the effort, but an ill-timed drinking binge made him an easy target. As he started the binge, he told himself that no one would be fool enough to threaten him at Manny’s place, and that was true … unless... [more]
Redhead 004: Trial By Steel
11 August, 2013 · sub-genre is low fantasy
written by Levi HR Rosenthal
“Sir Edward Hansard, you have been indicted of kinslaying and rape,” caroled the One Orator, with glee in his tone. They hated me, I decided; they didn’t even try and hide it any more. I saw it on their faces, on their smiles. Those many, many cruel smiles, and those eyes all looking down upon me from their high terraces.
Upon a white stone dais, I knelt bound by iron chains like some savage. Men of the Sky stood beside my dais with their notorious large-shields, emblazoned by a shapeless blue face. They stood there as if I had the aptitude to escape from this place, from these chains. I was weak: my eyes were feeble from weeks in the irresistible blackness of my cell and my mind stung as though it was bleeding from a fresh wound.
“Do you dissent from these claims?” continued the One Orator, from his high table perched above at the second of six balconies. He did not sit there alone; with him were unfamiliar faces in unfamiliar garbs with high titles of lands and sworn-men. All with more influence than me, I thought.
“I do.” The words were a rasp in my throat, and at... [more]
Redhead 003: The Sword And The Squire
4 August, 2013 · sub-genre is arthurian
written by Seth Frederiksen
A golden sun rose from the earth, igniting a glorious menagerie of crimson, cerise, and amber eventually coalescing into a majestic azure that hung over the city of London. Commoners and nobles awoke to break their fast, greeted by wives, children, pages, squires, apprentices, and thousands more of faces and vocations that one mind could not know nor limit. Few had a sour demeanor, and fewer still were kept slothful pace; those who tried were pushed into the great bustle that infected the growing metropolis. What made the city so eager with such energy and mirth? A tourney was being held, the grandest that had been seen in decades. Tilting and melees were expected of any typical tourney, but what made this one event unique among the thousands of tournaments held was a special prize; unknown to but a few, a secret occasion would decide the fate of all Britannia. The old king had died without an heir more than a decade ago and all of England was preparing for a maelstrom of wars and invasions to earn the glory of the crown.
During the ten years that passed, save for a few minor clashes, no one lord attempted to... [more]
Redhead 002: Ashes
28 July, 2013 · sub-genre is high fantasy
written by Travis G.G. Anderson
Everything had changed after the Tyrant’s incursion. No longer were the trees strong and covered with leaves of emerald green. The shrouds of life that once draped ancient oaks and supple pines were all but extinguished. For decades Telariel had passed under naked branches of dead wood. She weaved through the Elderwood with catlike grace, her leather boots crushing brittle leaves beneath her light steps. Their subtle snaps echoed in the tomb-like forest wherever she walked. She was an elven shadow sneaking through her forgotten homeland, bow slung across her back. Long had the forest been a silent cadaver with only her footfalls to keep her company. She paid it little mind.
The ranger moved through the wood with haste. Her ash grey cloak billowed out behind her and her leather armor pulled taut as she ran. The brown leggings and worn cuirass hugged her body close. She kept the hood of her cloak up to mask her dandelion hair, and took in the surroundings as she ran. Her brilliant green eyes had grown numb to the dull pallor of the destroyed land long ago. All around lay dead trees and broken branches, their bark supernaturally dark and leaking rotten... [more]
Redhead 001: Lethe
21 July, 2013 · sub-genre is historical
written by Alex Livingston
Rome had become dangerous again.
I rarely doubted myself in these matters. I would send my silent will into the Senate and they would rule as I directed, as they had done for years. “Fidei's touch never fails,” the other Honors often said of me, yet the sweat which drenched my face as I fretted my way towards the Curia Julia was not all from the heat. The consul had named an innocent man a traitor. As I said, the City was becoming dangerous again.
Some water would help. I stopped at a fountain and drank deeply, the taste of Roman power crackling in my throat. I would need its strength keep the Senate from murdering that old legate.
Semni was nearby. She and her friends wanted to see the Temple of Vesta. I could not imagine why – they were too old to take the vows now. Perhaps they wanted to tease the virgins, now that they were beginning to understand more fully what their vows meant. She was angry at me again, and I at her, though I could not remember precisely why. She had spent the last week glowering at me about it. I kept a distance from... [more]