We knew the Verses. We had trained our entire lives for this moment. She, the leader of our warband, sang first, and her voice carried high, nymphlike, through rows of perimeter stones, drawing butterfly ripples in the old temple’s canals.

It was a perfect day. It was raining, softly, as it always did. The earth rumbled and moaned and asked us to enter and we, Her beloved children, stood eager, waiting for our master’s song to open the door.

Semi-Automatic Story