Jason Fischer has a story appearing in Jack Dann’s new anthology Dreaming Again.

Ken Brady’s latest story, “Walkers of the Deep Blue Sea and Sky” appears in the Exquisite Corpuscle anthology, edited by Jay Lake and Frank Wu.

Edd Vick’s latest story, “The Corsair and the Lady” may be found in Talebones #37.

Read Rudi’s story “Detail from a Painting by Hieronymus Bosch” at Behind the Wainscot.

Dana Yamamoto Writes a Dirty Poem

by Kat Beyer

This is my last regularly scheduled story for the Daily Cabal.  I have contributed since 2007.  I leave reluctantly—but like Dana I try to do what I say will, and my professional writing commitments are about to increase.  Thank you to all our readers, and thank you to everyone at the Cabal, especially Rudi, for your support and your patience!  Enjoy this last offering, and please visit me at

Mirabelle Hayes discovered early on that Dana Yamamoto would take any dare if Mirabelle looked at her out of the corner of her eye and lifted her chin.  Yet so far from getting Dana in trouble over Samhain, she found she’d raised Dana’s status instead.  Frustrating.

Getting Dana to spook Dr Somerville’s horse helped a bit.  More promising: convincing her to write a dirty poem in Japanese on the doorsill of Dr Fujiwara’s tea house while the Doctor was away.  Mirabelle didn’t accompany her; by now she knew that Dana would do whatever she said she would do.

Dana waited in the dojo until the last light in the teacher’s quarters went out.  She thought of all the dirty poems she knew in Japanese.  She wondered if she would be expelled.  She thought about Hayes.  Samantha MacKinnon had asked Dana, “Why do you let her have such power over you?”  Dana had snapped, “Don’t you think I ask myself that every day?”

If they sent her home, her mother the General would lift her chin and look at her out of the corner of her eye.  Dana remembered a particular look from the day she had told her mother she was afraid to compete in the kendo bouts at school.  She never told her mother she was afraid again, ever.

Suddenly she understood why Hayes had power over her.

Still: the ink was drying on the inkstone, and she always did what she said she would.  She drew back her sleeve, lifted the brush at the correct angle, and began to write.

By the time Dr. Fujiwara returned, everyone had seen the graffiti, though none could read it all.

“I will leave the matter up to you,” said Dr Eire.

Dr Fujiwara read the poem and smiled.

“Do you recognize the handwriting?”  Asked Dr Eire.

“I don’t need to; she put her name in the poem.”

She translated.

After they finished laughing, Dr. Fujiwara looked towards the faces at the door.

“Bring me Yamamoto,” she said.

Everyone else came too, of course.  Dana tried hard not to shake.

Dr. Fujiwara said, “I believe you have defeated your adversary in the most important of bouts.  Please translate your poem for the benefit of the school; no other punishment awaits you.”

Dana read:

Rich soil Fuji gives

From dirt roots

I have grown mountains

Thank you

This ink is


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