From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism



The 21st Century Isobel Down

Isobel Down had been unemployed seven months when the advertising icons started knocking on her door. It was Tony first. The Tiger. Sleek fur, lean muscles updated for the new millennium. “Hell no,” she said, slamming the door in Tony’s face. “Isobel,” came the rugged voice from the other side, “today is going to be […]


Petrella is made of wood. Burls form the bowls of her knees and heartwood fills the cage of her chest. Her legs are sturdy oak, her slender arms linden, limbs finely shaped and lively as young trees stretching up toward the vernal sun. Her supple joints flex smoothly on hidden gimbals, and her body is […]


On her back in the supermarket, the smell of applesauce everywhere and a far-off seeming throb in her ankle barely registering, Natasha had an epiphany. She misheard the mumble of the older fellow in the red smock saying “Twisted, she’s all twisted” because of all the crunching glass and the fwapping shoeflats. “Trickster, she’s a […]


After living a year and a day atop the glass mountain, Mariska determined that the time had come to return to the village she had left behind, and even to the people who had consigned her to a fate they unanimously—though erroneously—considered worse than death. True, she was alone most of the time. And it […]


This girl, her name is Alphabet because she was there at the beginning and she will be there at the end. Alphabet has seaweed-coloured skin and a beautiful candelabra where her left arm should be. The candelabra was dripped out of hot silver by her lover. Alphabet is in love. “Once upon a time,” Alphabet […]


I have a bridge and it’s a very nice one, a simple arch of stone over a deep gully in the country that is my home, but I also have my flocks, near eighty head of goats, and I suppose you can gather which of the two, bridge or flocks, takes up most of my […]

Cockatrice Girl Meets Statue Boy

Having been born in vinegar and conceived by a viper, cockatrice girl knew how to hurt people. The fact that statue boy was immune to her signature trick was no great obstacle. She had a dozen poisons in her snake eyes, a hundred conversational traps hidden beneath her skirt, between her long chicken legs. None […]

When We Were Stardust

We make a picnic in the sparse woods beyond the park, the four of us, with our baskets of breads and pâtés, waxed apples and a jug of sparkling cider. My husband Abe keeps close behind me. Keith and Janelle are our neighbors in a cul-de-sac. We have the assurance that by the time our […]


“Do you know what we should do?” Vine-creeper-curls of smoke unfurl from Siegfried’s nostrils. They spread across the space between us and into my eyes and nose. I cough, hacking, water-blurred vision, everything swimming in front of me, uncertain. Siegfried’s question, however, is rhetorical. He shakes out his newspaper and turns it so Ernst and […]

The Fable of Cinnamon and Bitter

Tomi Two-Hearts killed Cinnamon Bear, his wife, with his far-sightedness—or, perhaps, the lack of. Barely a man, Tomi Two-Hearts had married Cinnamon Bear for her intoxicating scent of spice, for her name—for she was born under the sign of the bear—and for her tender heart that gave Tomi his appellation. Cinnamon Bear said she gave […]