It was a dark and stormy night...

We're still a bit overwhelmed by fallen tree limbs and leaves after last week's nor'easter. Thankfully, nothing hit our house, and we only lost power for about four hours. A large tree limb landed in a neighbor's yard, with its jagged end about ten feet from our window, and we're honestly a bit surprised that it didn't hit our house. At some point we'll need to break down some of the limbs that ended up in our yard, but it rained again on Saturday, giving us a good excuse not to do it yet.

The cats are doing well, although we're not planning to let them outside anytime soon. This picture was taken on Monday, as the storm was starting to move in. (It rained most of the day but wasn't very windy yet.)

See the coyote curled up under the trees at the property line? We'd hoped that, with the recent construction of a small subdivision in a previously vacant adjacent lot, the coyote we'd seen from time to time would move on to a less developed area. But apparently not. Even worse, it's seen our cats! Kristin had a mason over to look at a section of basement foundation in need of repointing, and she forgot to close both the door to the basement from the kitchen, and also the basement door to the outside. While she and the mason were looking at the coyote, trying to figure out if it really was a coyote or just a large dog, who should saunter up out of the basement but Marie, with Maxwell close behind. Fortunately, Kristin was sufficiently alarmed to scare both cats right back inside and back up the stairs, but the coyote spent the rest of the day under those trees, as if hoping to catch the cats next time they got out.

Unfortunately, the cats are as eager as ever to go outside. We aren't sure if they just didn't see the coyote--although they spent a good part of the day looking in its direction out the dining room window--or if they think it's a big, friendly dog they could curl up with.

Although the top perch of their cat tree is no longer big enough for the two of them, they're still in denial about it, especially Maxwell.

They both prefer the top level. Maxwell seems to be the boss cat, so if he gets there first, Marie usually takes the next one down. Sometimes she'll take the lower level even when the top is unoccupied; perhaps because, if she does take the top, Maxwell might just climb on top of her.

Recent and Upcoming Stories

Our current story is David Tallerman's "An Exchange of Values, Conducted in Good Faith". Some of you may remember his story "Golgotha" in the original Mysterion anthology. David's latest story for us is a contemporary fantasy rather than historical; but it's also about a missionary, of sorts, striving to explain his faith to the strangest possible congregation.

For November, we'll have "The Inksmith", by Katherine Briggs. In a world where sin leaves indelible stains, misdeeds never stay hidden. A desperate woman has heard of a man who can remove sin stains; but how can she believe, when other followers remain marked?

Finally, in December, we finish up the year with K.J. Khan's "Soul's Wager". Eurydice seeks only to contest her untimely death and return to her beloved Orpheus, but what she discovers along the way may change her forever.

New stories are always released on the fourth Monday of each month, so come back to read these on November 22nd and December 27th! Or, if you want to read them now, check out our early access options on Patreon.

We're now hard at work reading stories from the July submission window, and expect to respond to everyone who sent us a story by the end of November.

Happy All Saints' Day, and stay safe from falling tree limbs!

Celebratory cupcakes: yellow cake with chocolate praline frosting

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