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Micro SF/F stories by O Westin @MicroSFF@mastodon.social

Winter gave the cat and the boy a tired look. "I am busy. Go away."
"You are missed," Paws said.
"You lie. You are a cat."

In the great hall, a pale figure in once-white robes sat on a throne, a diamond crown in his lap.
"Hail Winter," Paws said.

There were icicles hanging from the roof.
"Those shouldn't be there," Paws said.
"Why not?" Buri asked.
"We must hurry!"

** A blog post on Patreon fee changes, my situation, other ways of support, cryptic hints, and thanks: microsff.com/regarding-patreon **

"Now AIs are conscious," a reporter asked, "why send humans into space?"
"If we don't go together," said an AIstronaut, "what's the point?"

(Many apologies for the delay! I switched tabs both mentally and in the browser, before actually pressing the Toot! button. Sorry!)

When they got closer, they saw the castle was in disrepair; turrets fallen, the gates askew.
"This is not good," said Paws.

The hard crust on the snow was strong enough to walk on. Paws led Buri up a ridge, from which they could see a grand castle.

"I hate humanoid androids!"
"Hey! That's andrist!"
"No, I'm a vampire."
"You still can't hate people just because they don't have blood."

** I have a Patreon - patreon.com/MicroSFF - but if you don't want to support me regularly (or don't like their new fee system), you can feed my coffee habit occasionally at Ko-Fi ko-fi.com/microsff instead. All support, including kind words, is much appreciated. **

Buri closed the door behind him. "So where are we?"
"In the land of Winter."
"Are we allowed here?"
"I'm a cat," Paws said.

"A magic dagger," the peddler said. "Dark magic. It drinks blood."
"Gone without a trace."
"Useful." She smiled. "I'll take it."

"Am I dreaming?"
"It's a door," Paws said, "it can open to anywhere. That's what they do."
The cat stepped out. "Let's go."

"When I was your age," the old man said, "and heartbroken like you, my future self came to say it would work out."
"Did it?"
"No. It won't."

Buri quietly followed Paws to the door, lifted the latch, and paused. The moon shone on an unfamiliar, snowy landscape.

Then one night, Buri woke up with the cat sitting on his chest.
"Get dressed," Paws hissed.
"Wha- why?"
"To find Winter."

But no snow came. Every day Paws, the old cat, looked out the door at the grey and rain, and gave Buri a disapproving stare.

"It will be better when snow comes," his mother said. "Dryer and brighter, and the cold bites less."
"Soon," Buri nodded.

This is just to say
I'd forgotten
the plums
that were in

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
I was mining
They're warm now

/Your internet-connected intelligent fridge

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