The Arcanist – May 29, 2020

Scars” by Dan Rice (962 words)

A witch goes to a village to deal with what she suspects is a rogue witch, only to discover that the villagers who have the same scars and pustules as she does aren’t manifesting magic use, but rather simply died of a pox that could have been treated had the villagers called a doctor in earlier. An interesting piece that begs more thought and question. The main character is brusque in a way that makes her seem unlikeable, but by the end of the piece, she seems to be more complicated, with a bigger history than what’s revealed on page. While it is a traditional portrayal, I’m not a big fan of using disfigurement as punishment, though.

S. Qiouyi Lu

S. Qiouyi Lu writes, translates, and edits between two coasts of the Pacific. Ær debut biocyberpunk novella In the Watchful City is out now from Tordotcom Publishing, and ær other work has appeared in several award-winning venues. You can find out more about S. at ær website or on Twitter @sqiouyilu.