By Randal Doering


Paul woke up painfully, his legs stiff and his arms taut, constrained by fabric. He opened his eyes, which hurt in spite of the dim light. His heart pounded like a jackhammer, his body pumped with adrenaline, as if he was fighting a war. He was making bizarre mewling sounds, which he forced himself to stop. Right now he was not hallucinating, except for faint clicking noises off in the distance. These were normal, and he knew they’d fade away if he ignored them.

It took Paul a full minute to remember where he was. He was in a mummy bag, in a cardboard box, in a blind alley in New York City. It was dead of winter, around the end of January or beginning of February. He couldn’t be sure, exactly, since he had been “away” again and had lost time. Paul’s face was in the breathing hole in the mummy bag, the air on his face was freezing cold, and his breath came out in fat clouds of mist...



Randal Doering has a BA in creative writing and an MA in anthropology. He lives in San Diego, California, which has superlative weather year around. He writes mostly contemporary fantasy, with some secondary world fantasy and urban fantasy and a smattering of science fiction as the mood strikes. He has published 17 stories in the small press and semi-pro magazines and has self-published ten novel-length works through’s CreateSpace program. He has won honorable mention in L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future contest. At forty-nine, he has been writing in a serious way for twenty-seven years. You can download two of his free novels from and find links to his for-sale works on Amazon. He believes that travel is a great teacher and travels as much as he can, both within the U.S. and abroad.