“Flee, My Pretty One” – Eneasz Brodski, Illustrated by Alana Fletcher

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Eneasz Brodski contributes “Flee, My Pretty One.” Young rebels join a resistance against the dark powers that control their world, and soon find themselves corrupted by the very dragons they’re fighting.

The story brings an edge to the anthology. In what I think is a hallmark of good short fiction (or any fiction, really), this piece made me think. It evokes Friedrich Nietzsche “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” If the cause is good, what cost is tolerable to further it? Is it worth losing oneself? What about the costs of ensuring that one does not become a monster? Eneasz wrote a story that made me ask those questions, and that’s impressive.

Alana Fletcher’s illustration captures a dramatic moment of the story while portraying the grit and darkness that suffuses the world that Eneasz created. To my eye, it shows a glimmer of hope in a world dominated by gloom, but even that glimmer struggles to shine through. It’s a wonderful depiction of the story’s tone.

The other work Alana has available on her ArtStation profile shows off mood. I want to see what horrible things happen in the Cathedral of the Deep. Or maybe the warrior in the Golden Armor Studies on a dungeon crawl through that Cathedral.

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