Closed Fist, Open Heart by John R. Canter

I thought that she’d be just another tournament contestant: that I could knock her down with just three punches or so, let the ref announce that Choi Park was the winner yet again, and move on to my next guy. I am very glad I was wrong.

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Tiger’s Guests by John R. Canter

“Stupid, stupid, stupid!” Rabbit cursed aloud. Panting, he had quit pulling on his leg, realizing the hunter’s trap would rip into his flesh the more he tried to struggle free. It had already torn up his trousers, his nice party trousers, which he had prepared for tonight’s Full Moon Festival. He could see the blood soaking into the cloth, oozing ominously from the wound. The pain was unbearable.

Five Directions and a Yellow Vest by John R. Canter

Within moments they reached the interior of the palace complex, using the rooftops to bypass all the closed gates that tried to stop the spread of fire and movements of the enemy troops. “At this rate the whole palace will burn,” Yang remarked to the qirin, the divine creature’s hooves barely touching down on ancient roof tiles. “If the barbarians of the northwest can’t seize the capital, they will be more than happy to destroy it.”

Coin Flip by John R. Canter

Chan was feeling cooped-up in the laboratory. It wasn’t that he minded working for the professor, mad though he was, but the strange devices he made, often with no practical purpose (besides destroy everything, somehow) made him feel a little disconnected. He might read the news about the outside world, or see social media posts from this friend or that friend, but usually it was just work. The lab takes up too much of my time, Chan thought. He looked up from his printouts to the clock, and when he saw it was almost noon, he stomach growled, as if trained, on cue.