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Edition 31: Of Dreaming and Destiny by Jamie Lackey

Altantsetseg is having her dream, pointing her toward her destiny. However, it won’t be quite as simple as that. Jamie Lackey’s submission to the Story Quest Contest came in second place with her charming coming of age fantasy. – SY

Altantsetseg offered Batbayar a winter-shriveled carrot, and the gelding’s velvety lips tickled her palm. He butted his forehead into her chest as he crunched his snack, and she scratched behind his ears.

Her own stomach rumbled. “My dreaming starts at sundown,” she explained. “I’m fasting.”

Batbayar whickered and flicked his ears.

“Of course I’m nervous,” Altansetseg said. “What if I see myself with a dozen wailing children instead of leading our warriors? Or what if I don’t see anything at all?” Snow crunched beneath her fur-lined boots as she shifted her weight, and the exposed tips of the tall grass hissed as a cold wind gusted. “I should go. Wish me luck.”

She slipped into her yurt just as her family finished their evening meal. The scent of roasted mutton lingered in the air.

Her father and brother left to build her snow-bed, and Altantsetseg stripped. Goosebumps raced along her bare skin.

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