“Blighted Heart,” by Aliette de Bodard
I felt the first cut like a violation. Pain burst in my chest, would not cease. I screamed and screamed until my voice was raw. No. No. I never asked for this! I saw a priest lift out a bloody, pulsating thing dizzyingly high above me, and a sensation of emptiness spread from the hole in my chest and swallowed me.
“The Prince’s Shadow,” by Emily M.Z. Carlyle
Blindness taught me to use my other senses and trust in portents, balancing the evidence of sound, touch, smell and taste against the ambiguous suggestions I sometimes received in dreams or in waking. The Sisters praised God for granting me self-sufficiency even as they forbade me to speak of my ‘visions’ to strangers. Needless to say, when the king’s sister arrived in person on a warm morning in the early summer of my twelfth year, demanding to see their blind charge and claiming we had met in a dream, the Sisters were mightily confused.
“Walking Out,” by Harry R. Campion
Then Sunshine had his hand on Creeper’s shoulder, and in another ten fighting strides Thiever and I were there too, forming a wall between him and the emptiness beyond. Holding his arms, we braced our feet in the living sand and hauled back toward town. Did I mention distance is funny out there? It seemed a very long way back.