Choose Wisely

Edited by Julia Rios

Copyedited by Chelle Parker

December 2018

You sip your coffee down to the dregs, then cast the spell for another, noting you have some time before work this morning. No doctors’ waiting rooms today. No prescription pickups. And the child is already at school, and didn’t forget her wand this time, so this is the perfect moment for dealing with the paperwork that sometimes comes with your latest medical adventure — let’s just call that one “No, it wasn’t anxiety after all.”

The kitchen is quiet, only the rustle of semi-sentient unopened bills and the sharp cry of your mother — the Oracle’s — seagull-borne message about whether you want to try yoga (you don’t), distracts you from your task. You ignore the noise and focus on getting the paperwork together for your disabled wizard’s placard.

Really, you might just put it off until after you finish marking essays on the intersection of wizarding physics and mechanical engineering. But your trip is looming and you need the placard to get disabled services on the next quest. So. Do you:

A. Go to the University to grade those essays, and plan to deal with this later (again).

B. Tackle the form so you have what you need.

© 2018 Fran Wilde

About the author

Fran Wilde

Fran Wilde’s novels and short stories have been nominated for three Nebula Awards and two Hugos, and include her Andre Norton- and Compton-Crook-winning debut novel, Updraft (Tor 2015), its sequels, Cloudbound (2016) and Horizon (2017), and the novelette “The Jewel and Her Lapidary” ( Publishing 2016). Her short stories appear in Asimov’s Science Fiction,, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Shimmer Magazine, Nature Futures, and the 2017 Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror. She writes for publications including The Washington Post,, Clarkesworld,, and You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and at