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The MFP comes to a marshy area in the valley. The travellers tread cautiously along the muddy bank, but without alarm. It is Karen who first smells danger and begins to growl, low. Out of nowhere, fire spits forth from the earth, singeing one of Karen’s whiskers. Without budging, the dog bares her fangs and begins to bark. This is not just fire. One-by-one, fireballs leap from the marsh and take place around them all, hovering in a rough circle. They’re surrounded. At the centre of the circle, an uncanny pit of lava. A voice begins, then another, and another, seeming to come from the fireballs themselves, “Come play in the fire. Come play in the fire.”

“Fire demons!” Eugene shouts over the dog’s barking. Cecilia begins to sling clumps of mud at the demons, but they move inward, unaffected, forcing the party closer to the lava pit. Dan stands still and closes his eyes. He steadies his right foot, now close enough to the pit that his leather shoes begin to steam. Bringing his right fist into his open left palm, before him, he says something under his breath. When he opens his eyes, he opens his right fist and extends his palm forward. Barry yells, “Duck!” As the travellers drop to the mud, water forms in a great wave hitting the fire demons and the pit. The fireballs extinguish, but the pit remains and begins to bubble. Dan turns his palm toward the sky, in front of him, and points his hand to the pit. He blows gently across his palm and ice forms over the pit. The ice grows solid and opaque and before they know it, all is calm again.

Brushing themselves off, the party continues, eventually leaving the valley.



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Chris Carlier regina, Saskatchewan

I make short songs for doing dishes or walking the dog or riding the bus. Sometimes it sounds like the smell of the ground after it rains in autumn. Sometimes it sounds like a long summer drive with the windows down.

Sometimes I make music for film/TV/games/radio. Sometimes I make music for patrons.

Most of the time I'm drinking coffee.
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