The Ferryman’s Apprentice

Art by Janis Singley
Art by Janis Singley.
Lettering by Joe Lombard.
Used with permission.

A story about a boy with a questionable relationship to life, and his best friend, a girl with a questionable relationship to death.

The concept of death never particularly bothered Wilom Tris. So, when the opportunity for a truly unusual apprenticeship came up, the only thing that mattered to him was that it got him out of his aunt’s house.

Until then, Wilom had more than enough information to know his only options were bad ones. Now, it turns out he has two options that are equally tempting, but not nearly enough information about them. Option one: Stay on the River, be a ferryman, live by the rules. Option two: Go back to the living world, and do whatever he wants.

The more he learns about his apprenticeship and life on the River, the more questions he has, but his mentors have stopped answering them. The only perspective he has on the living is through the eyes of the dead. He knows he’s missing something important, but nobody will tell him what it is.

At least he has a friend along for the ride.

The King’s City: Fire Witch

Art by Roku Lin.
Used with permission.

But you can’t just know that sort of thing. Not without magic.”

Linguist and teacher Ithild has always been the impulsive one. It’s part of the reason she’s arguing with her sister, Ette, the historian. When Ette confides that she hasn’t heard from one of her best friends in months – nor anyone at the University he works at in the out-of-the-way Border City – Ithild volunteers to go investigate. Surely there’s no way a whole University could just fall out of contact, and besides, a break from each other will do the sisters good.

But Ette hasn’t exactly been honest, either, and when Ithild can’t return from her trip, it’s obvious that there are a few conversations they should have had much earlier. Like how much, exactly, Ette knows about the supposedly-departed Hraethenn. Or what exactly happened on the night of the accident that Ette has never talked about.

There are no letters back and forth from the Border City. Ithild could really use Ette’s experience, and Ette needs what Ithild knows. Between them, they’ve nearly got all the pieces they need to stop the coming invasion, but there’s half a country and a lot of secrets between them.

After all, this is politics now. Everyone’s always got another secret.