"Crosswort Puzzle" is the fourth story in the "Treasures of Albion" series, written by me and Michael Spence. Due to a geas placed on them, Laurel has to live with her brother Stephen and his wife Melisande until Stephen passes his Senior Ordeal, even though she, being a teen-age prodigy, has already passed hers. (Michael had finally finished his dissertation by the time we wrote this story). To make matters worse, her ex-boyfriend is still around, so she can't avoid him either. She does manage to get an internship off-campus, working in the Customs House. There, in an attempt to find a more efficient way to process all the documents passing through her hands, she accidentally lets something slip through that she should have stopped: a version of crosswort that Michael and I called "anti-St. John's wort." Instead of relieving depression, this stuff causes it.
This story also addresses an issue I've never quite been able to resolve about forgiveness: we're taught to forgive those who hurt us; but what do we do about forgiving those who hurt others--especially people we care about?
"Crosswort Puzzle" first appeared SWORD & SORCERESS 22 in 2007 and is also in the first volume of TREASURES OF ALBION.