Both short stories have a young protagonist facing a confusing situation that leads to affirmation and hope. Both surprised and delighted me as the stories progressed.
“The Witch’s Cat,” by Kalisa Ann Lessnau, in Daily Science Fiction
What would you do if the witch’s cat appeared on your doorstep?
I would love to know more about the witches in Lessnau’s world. I perceived the unnamed protagonist as female. Did you?
“You Have to Follow the Rules” by Ada Hoffman, in Strange Horizons
Annalee finds her first convention overwhelming. Worldcon surprised me with its vast variety of things to do and see, so I was excited to read a story about someone having similar feelings. When I learned that Annalee has Asperger Syndrome, my heart went out to her. I can only imagine how much more dramatic her experience was.