Chris Rathburn is the author of the novels The Last Sage and War Dreams. A collection of his short form poetry was published in Stacking Stones: An Anthology of Short Tanka Sequences, editing by M.Kei. His science fiction short story Progress was published in the Spring 2019 – Issue 163 of MENSA’s Calliope. He is a licensed clinical psychologist living outside Minneapolis with his family, dogs, and an asshole cat.
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Qiang is a tetrachromat—a young woman born with a rare genetic mutation that gives her color vision a hundred times more nuanced than ordinary eyesight—and she is being hunted. Living on her own for the first time, Qiang was eager to begin her college career and develop herself as an artist. Then, she began noticing people with subtle markings that no one else could see. At first, she was curious, but when the strange people learned she could see them for what they were, Qiang had no choice but to leave her life behind and run.
The truth is shapeshifters live among us. They wear our faces and make use of our lives as it suits them. Sometimes, that means doing away with the few who can see through their lies. Trapped in a deadly game of cat and mouse, Qiang must learn how to survive the reason why her gift is so rare.