After Hours: Tales from the Ur-Bar

After Hours: Tales from the Ur-Bar

Patricia Bray, Joshua Palmatier

Language: English

Pages: 162

ISBN: 0756406595

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Science fiction and fantasy readers have long shown an affinity for a good "bar story". Now some of today's most inventive scriveners have decided to tell their own tall tales-from an alewife's attempt to transfer the gods' curse to Gilgamesh, to Odin's decision to introduce Vikings to the Ur-Bar, from the Holy Roman Emperor's barroom bargain, to a demon hunter who may just have met his match in the ultimate magic bar, to a bouncer who discovers you should never let anyone in after hours in a world terrorized by zombies.

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adorning my belt. The spreading branches carve out a mosaic of green, brown, and gold. The evershifting patterns lull me into drowsiness. I close my eyes and pray that the elixir stole my immortality along with any form recognizable to God. To live forever as a dog is curse enough; to spend eternity as a monster would be unbearable. A jay screeches, startling me into wakefulness. It pecks at a misshapen squirrel’s nest in the notch of the tree. Fragments of dead leaves drift onto me, and I shout

if she truly desired independence she would need to disguise herself as a man. It was a prospect she had toyed with this past year, but it galled her to no end. She had been taught how to fight and defend herself. Yet her skills could only be used to serve another—her future husband. To keep his house and children safe when he was away from home. Azami hated the need to be connected to a man—a father or a husband—in order to be accepted as a member of their society. Women without a family had

throat. I can feel it inside, in my gut.” Kubaba said nothing. The net still prickled against her skin. The despair lodged in her chest began to seep outwards into her shoulders, down into her gut, followed closely by seething anger. Ninkasi had lied to her! She’d told her she could escape! She’d told her— But then, without warning, the prickling sensation began to fade. A weight she hadn’t realized had covered her sloughed off her shoulders, like cloth pulled from a statue’s head. She

matter. —Reg commands his own group of sappers. . . . He doesn’t mention the Sight.... Men die, trying to emulate him. . . . Sybil comes around, pushing a stroller— Reg flinched. Sybil snored with her head on his shoulder. He wanted to shrug her off, but the thought triggered the Sight again: Sybil wakes. . . . Can’t avoid it.... Long talk. . . . Wedding dress. . . . A baby cries. . . . He waited until the all-clear before waking Sybil. She peered up at him. Relief softened the weariness in

oranges, fury given form. “Now then, Tracy Summers,” says Gil. “Tell me the story of your life.” The words come slowly at first, hesitantly, as she tries to summon stubborn memories. She soon gives up trying and instead just talks, the sentences in free form, ideas scattered amidst bits of dialogue. Tracy talks, and Gil listens. She’s always wanted to be a dancer, ever since her parents took her to New York City to see the Rockettes. Bright costumes and painted faces made just as strong an

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