The Heart is Eaten Last: Excerpt
 
Thanks for your patience, Patrons! I've committed to finishing this story in a very tricky way, which is to commit to using the money from this month's Patreon to pay to have my website redesigned. THERE IS NO GOING BACK NOW.

Everyone at $25+ should have received their chapbooks for December, and $100+ received flash fiction for December as well. 


I know folks are anticipating the return to Umayma with this latest Nyx story, which is rapidly turning into a novella. Here's an excerpt of this month's story, which will go live at end of month (REALLY THIS TIME I HAVE TO PAY MY WEB DESIGNER): 


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THE HEART IS EATEN LAST

By Kameron Hurley


The terrorists fled the bombed-out wreckage of the smoking chemical plant like

roaches from a burning cane field. Black smoke clotted the air. The toxic bloom

unfurled across the desert sky outside Alabbas like some black portent. It

rolled over the fleeing insurgents, covering their escape into the warren of

workers’ houses and tumbledown ruins from the last time someone tried to build

something worth a damn out here on the edge of the desert.

    

Nyxnissa so Dasheem watched the explosion from the hot rooftop of an abandoned mosque half a mile away. She pulled on a respirator without taking her eyes from the specs that gave her a keen view of the action. Behind her, her magician, Rhys,

was crouched against a nearby minaret, arms over his head, yelling about the

end of the world.

    

Typical day, really.

    

“Put on your respirator,” she said around hers.

    

“As if that makes a difference,” he said. “That cloud will eat us down to bones in

an hour.”

    

Nyx adjusted her respirator and stuffed a pinch of sen into her mouth and sucked at

it, considering the cloud. “Wind’s the wrong way,” she said. “It’s heading out

over the desert.”

    

“Why didn’t we stop them, Nyx?” Rhys said. “We were supposed to stop it. How many people are going to die down there?”

    

Nyx watched the toxic cloud shift with the wind that now blew against her back,

pushing the worst of the fallout in the other direction. Lucky break, that.

Satisfied, she shoved the specs in her pack, pulled out the respirator, and

spit bloody red sen on the sandy rooftop.

    

“No one’s dead down there yet,” she said. “We’ll get to that next.”

    

Rhys huffed out a breath. He was a handful of years younger than her, which put him in his early twenties. He had been on her team for two years, though he

insisted every six months that he was going to leave and find some new job. She

had to admit it pleased her when he didn’t. He was pretty enough, for a

Chenjan, and she liked his eyes and his hands. It was the complaining she couldn’t

stand. Especially because it all came out in his terrible Chenjan accent. The

accent reminded her she was supposed to be killing people like him, not

consorting with them. The accent took her back to the front.

    

She regretted taking this job, then. But the only time she didn’t regret taking a

job was when she was drinking the money it earned her. Every other moment was

stuffed with poisonous doubt.

    

Served her right. She was a sucker for pretty boys and plain-faced girls, and the girl

who had given her this job had been tough to refuse. What surprised Nyx was

that even after saying yes, she was going to betray the little fuck anyway.

Girls with silvery tongues had secrets. Nyx had almost figured that out too

late this time.

    

“Let’s go start the cleanup,” Nyx said.

    

“We’re bringing them in?” Rhys said. Hopeful.

    

“We’re finishing the job,” Nyx said. She picked up her scattergun, and pointed it at

his chest.


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Muwaha hahahaha


More soon!