From Albion Apparent:
Aaron Faust sat in his SUV outside the perimeter emergency services had erected around Buckley High School. He wasn’t the only parent who’d conducted an impromptu stakeout in the last few weeks, but he was the most persistent. The police and fire officials appointed to patrol the perimeter knew him on sight. Though they ought to have kept him under careful observation to prevent his sneaking into the cube of darkness, Aaron knew they would slip eventually.
He tapped out a text message on his phone. A call would be faster—if she answered—but he couldn’t bring himself to hear her voice. Not even with Gabriel trapped behind a wall of darkness with a bunch of—
“Are you ready?” I asked Corrine.
She stared at the unbroken surface of the water. Her breaths were shallow, controlled. “What if it doesn’t work?”
I shrugged. “Then at least we tried.”
She closed her eyes and nodded. “Ok. Be sure you’re turned away. The last thing we need is—”
“—a Djinni-turned-human-turned-Myr,” I said, spinning in place so my back was to the pool. I could still see Corrine in my peripheral vision, until she leaned forward and dipped her hands into the pool.
A hulking figure, human-shaped but the color of onyx, stepped into the pool room. Its arms, though bulky, seemed to rely on an innate strength rather than muscle and sinew. Two eyes like empty marbles rested above a slash of a mouth. The creature had no discernable nose. A strange symbol had been crudely carved into its forehead.
Not a symbol.
“Golem,” I whispered.
Tucked away in the pocket universe of the school’s basement, the golem did not sense its fellow’s death. It had no ties to other beings, save for the master.
The master, and the one called Pendragon.
The connection it felt to this mysterious person unsettled the golem. It was not designed for such things. Its mind, such as it was, had been carefully crafted to serve a single purpose—the destruction of the Order and its charges.
Yet the Pendragon—whoever it was—now had a hold on the golem’s mind.
It could not picture the Pendragon, nor hear a voice if it tried to recall such a sound. In truth, the golem could not be sure when the Pendragon had first appeared in its mind. One day, it had not known the name; the next, the shadowy presence of the Pendragon had inserted itself into the golem’s thoughts.
It would have been cause for concern if the golem understood the concept.
From "Paper and (T)horns":
Unlike sculpture (there’s a year of my life and a corner of my penthouse I’ll never get back), origami’s final result does not lie in the material waiting to be revealed by the artist’s chisel. Flat paper had to become three-dimensional. It was skill and intention that produced beauty. That doesn’t mean it can’t surprise you. Perhaps an hour into the session, I began folding without a definite plan. I had an idea of what I wanted—something ethereal and possibly winged—but had never seen a pattern for it. Yet some strange intelligence seemed to guide my hands, suggesting a fold here, a tuck there. Once or twice I swore an unseen hand actually stopped mine in place and redirected its action.
“And for his next trick,” said a voice behind me, “he will still not answer your questions about the cranes and the blossoms.”
“Are all his secrets as fascinating as you?”
She scoffed. “I’m not fascinating. I’m a means to an end. In this case, my father’s illusions.”
“Is that why you hide from the cameras and never go onstage?”
“The whole thing is fascinating,” I said at last. “But I suppose it’s the execution that piques my curiosity the most. Unless the folds are part of the trick.” As I spoke, I saw a mixture of triumph and what I took to be—disappointment?—flash across her face. “Of course the folds are part of the trick.” I slapped my forehead. “Everything is. Even the masks. It’s all designed to further the spectacle.”
“Or misdirect,” Molly added. She glanced at the fairy in my hand. “And which are you?” she asked, though I couldn’t tell if she meant me or the fairy. “Spectacle or misdirection?”