“The Anthvoke” from Trysts: A Triskaidecollection of Queer and Weird Stories by Steve Berman (Lethe Press, 2001).

In the next story of the collection we meet two young women, a couple, Marie and Jess. They’ve come to the Fallen Area because Jess wants to be trained by a group of people known as Anthvokes. Like Caleb, they are members of the Talented class, though they possess different powers.

Marie and Jess began growing apart even before they set out for the Fallen, and things don’t improve once they are there. Marie languishes in their makeshift apartment, hoping Jess will stop her studies with the Anthvokes and things will return to how they once were. She writes letters to an old friend back home but doesn’t send them. It’s not clear if there is even a way for her to do so. Finally, she heads out to discover where her own interests and talents lie. Shortly afterward she meets Caleb, and comes to his aid. It’s clear that everyone else believes he can grant wishes, of a fashion. When he asks Marie what she wants, the question is raised: can he heal her fractured relationship with Jess?

This absolutely felt like a novel unfolding, and I wanted more, more, more.