1. “Practice only helps if you can get better.” He picked the broken halves of the sword out of the dirt. “All you’re doing now is making more work for the rest of us.”
2. The cats are too heavy to be lions, built thick and low to the ground like bulldogs. They have the same coloring, same manes, same gliding movements, but are just off enough to catch the eye.
3. Not all fairy tales have happy endings. They were meant as warnings, ways to pass down life lessons without leaving scars—only we’ve changed the stories.
4. Just below the dull metallic line of the space station’s rim is a bright band of green. Algae scrubbers flourish in the microgravity, filtering out toxins and biological debris, they’ve grown out several feet since her last visit.
5. There’s a crack in the rock, a long jagged line that branches like lightning. It’s just wide enough to get a grip and before she can blink he’s halfway to the top.