Life asked Death, 'Why do people love me, but hate you?'
Death responded, 'Because you are a beautiful lie, and I am a painful truth.'
Most believe that Life promises light, bliss, and wonder. Death scares most with its shadow of mortality, darkness, and destruction. But what if those may be, if not lies, just facets of the complicated entities that bookend our existence? Life does not mock Death, but feeds it. Death is not the cessation of Life, but an alteration of existence. What would you do if faced with either truth?
The Mother Draephlix was dying.
They heard her clear across town, broadcasting her agony in a series of strained ululations and drawn-out, unlovely screeches. They knew it would continue for days. None of them were old enough to remember the last time a Mother Draephlix had passed, but they had heard stories from their parents and the elders of the town. They all knew what it meant. Death, fire, then dozens of pearl-like eggs left to incubate in the warm soft sand ... mounts for a new generation of warriors to keep Eliira safe.
Excerpt from "The Unchosen" by Cobalt Jade (writing as Trece Angulo)
An international galley of authors brings us a second repast of tales featuring the complex relationship between Life, Death, and humanity. From the supernatural to the sublime, these writers, both novitiates and accomplished, serve up a banquet of speculative fiction across a wide spectrum of genres. Beautiful Lies, Painful Truths Volume II will continue to feed your craving for the fantastic.