Far Horizons: Tales of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror. Issue #13 April 2015 - Page 116

sure the sand did not mean to do it. He promised to fix it and left. I do not want to tell nanny about the shelter. She will get angry and stop letting me into the garden. Maybe tomorrow father and I can build a new one. # Father has got a bird in his room. I have not seen it before. It is big and black and maybe it can be a man too, like the bird-people. Father does not let me play with it. He is writing something and he is not-father again. Not-father opens the window and the black bird flies away with the paper. The shelter is still broken. # Father asks me to play the game again. I quickly gather my things that are important. He is not laughing. He is scary. I do as he asks. I can only take one of my dolls with me. Father promises the sand will tell me tales. Father cannot come with me. I do not want to go. He is calling for me now. I am going outside. The rest of the pages are empty, except for the last one. The handwriting is noticeably different. It is always funny to read something you wrote twelve years ago. It’s as if it wasn’t even you who did the writing. I mean, who believes in talking sand, anyway. And falling for a game that basically was fleeing for our lives? The oldest trick in the book. The forces I’d gathered recaptured the city several days ago. I’ve come to the palace to find my father’s grave but I doubt that can be called a goal. He was announced a tyrant and killed days after I was secretly sent out of the city. I don’t know, maybe he was one. Not for me. I am the heiress now. And I will find those who have to pay for my father’s death. PAGE 115