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Fiction

An Excerpt From Phantastes

They were just like the glowworms of our own land, for they are fairies everywhere; worms in the day, and glowworms at night, when their own can appear, and they can be themselves to others as well as themselves. But they had their enemies here.

Fiction

Woman in Abaya with Onion

Blood. Blood everywhere, blood and screams. Cries for help, Hilfe, tasoketeh, au secours. A little boy, crying, begging for his life in German, gunned down by men in Egyptian police uniforms. At her feet, a blonde woman, dead eyes staring into the bright morning sky, a round, red hole in her forehead …

Fiction

Superhero Girl

Ofelia was a superhero. She told me so without reserve. “It’s safe for me to tell you,” she said. “I can sense you’re not a villain. Besides, it would be unfair to keep it from you. It won’t be easy, you know, being involved with a superhero girl.”

Fiction

People of Leaf and Branch

Before time began there was only one tree. Her leaves were as the fields of the land, her branches as the arches of the sky, her roots as the bones of the world. Her bole was as wide as the circle of night and day, her flowers as bright and numberless as the stars in the winter sky.

Fiction

Timepiece

After the dogs chewed the hands off the clock, we had only the chimes to remind us of time. If we were engrossed in our work and missed the sound of them, we lost the hour. This occurred often, as you might imagine. Winding the clock became the most crucial task of our day.

Fiction

Fantasy Magazine‘s May Madness Micro-Fiction Contest

Rules of the Reader Poll: Everyone may participate, readers and contest participants, alike. Each poller chooses his or her top three micro-shorts, listed below. The stories are in no particular order.

Fiction

Fascination Led Me to Sensuality: Karen Heuler

I wondered what happened to the children—there were theories about where they went (through the mountain to a new settlement; to death; to be conscripted in the Children’s Crusade), but the tale really ends with the children being swallowed up by a mysterious opening in a mountain. And the piper is gone.

Fiction

Oh He Is

There was a smell in the streets, past the storefronts with the children in their beds, their limbs barely moving, their eyes closed (it was late). The smell was intoxicating, vanilla, pineapple, butter, cinnamon and some spice, some spice. The smell caught at the tips of open windows, waving like a cat’s tail, just a little, before going in. Then it coiled along the floor, at the corners, under the doorways, sipping at each room, exhaling a puff of it, a tease.

Fiction

Is That a Finger Bone?: Alison Campbell-Wise

The story grew out of wanting to write something where the fantastic element was fairly slight at first. The events at the beginning can be said to be possible, if not plausible. The image of someone writing on the walls came next, and the rest of the story just kind of tumbled out from there. It wasn’t exactly an inspiration for the story, but when we were really young, my best friend and I did get in trouble for writing and drawing all over my bedroom door. I don’t know what made us think it was a good idea, but I guess it made sense to us at the time. Luckily, it washed off.

Fiction

Revisionist History

After their third fight about whose turn it was to switch the wet clothes from the washer to the dryer, and therefore whose fault it was that the clothes now smelled faintly of mold, Robert started writing on the walls . . .