Fires of Edo
by Annabeth Leong
Edo, Japan Isamu, hailed as the veteran of 500 fires, has spent 17 years as a machibikeshi, protecting the delicate paper-walled homes of Edo during windy monsoon season. Ryo, the water dragon etched on his skin, has been a source of comfort throughout this time—and an object of longing. The chief of the brigade wants the aging Isamu to retire, but Isamu fears loosing his great dragon.