From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

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Girls Have Sharp Teeth

When Madison S. didn’t show up to school, and word got around that it was because her boyfriend threw his phone at her mouth and knocked out four of her teeth, the junior girls of Clark High turned into monsters. Taloned, screaming things driven by rage and revenge. We swarmed her boyfriend, Josh C., by his car after school, and though he tried to beat us off with his lacrosse stick, our numbers were too great, our sisterhood too mighty.

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Latest Nonfiction

Interview: Charlie Jane Anders

I feel like it’s more interesting to watch people change through their relationships to other people than to see them go through changes in a vacuum. I feel like one thing the stories in Even Greater Mistakes have in common is that you can usually identify one or two relationships that power them. Even in my novels, this is usually the case for me, and I feel like my novels are firing on all cylinders when you can track a particular relationship from beginning to end.

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Lessons

 I know exactly how many times I’ve tried to leave. The last time, I walked right up to the edge of the playground, as if the swings and the seesaw weren’t penning me in. Weren’t a boundary I couldn’t cross. I pushed my toe against the air, right above where the blacktop meets the meadow. I’m not sure if I imagined it: the thin film flexing and shimmering like a soap bubble against my shoe.

The Petticoat Government

I was twenty years old when Hamida Bano, the Padshah Begum, supreme wife of the Emperor, entrusted her infant prince to my arms before fleeing across the Thar desert. Her opium-addled husband, steeped in the luxury of his harem, had no defense against Sher Shah Suri’s advancing armies, which squeezed Agra like a coal between tongs. The Sur Empire then settled its traitorous haunches on North India, and Hamida Bano, trailing her husband’s camel, trekked across the blistering desert, while I, still a young concubine, nursed the boy who would inherit the throne.

Shouty Lads

2 a.m. in South London, and the dark is shattered again by roars and laughing and screaming. The shouty lads again, the ones around each night, every night, apparently drunk, sound like they’re murdering each other. You get used to ignoring it, if you live in South London. Not your business.

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Unfinished

Survival reduced to pickets wakes me at night. Walls painted in stench, each day the beginning of my last. A siren of coppers chases rioters waving placards about paradigm shifts. Faces of my dead friends break out from the wind, imprint on each uniform’s head, sketching shapes with colourless lips.

After the End

When the story ends—the hero’s hands wiped clean, / sword gleaming above the mantel— / there are those of us who find the belly of a castle / is no place for children who grow / like weeds, like vines, like yellow straw.

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Editorial: November 2021

In this issue’s short fiction, Kehkashan Khalid offers a condensed epic, where a mother must contend with her fractious sons, in “The Petticoat Government,” and Genevieve Mills gives us a taste of revenge in “Girls Have Sharp Teeth”; in flash fiction, Billie Cohen’s “Lessons” features a different kind of imprisonment, and there are consequences for Charles EP Murphy’s “Shouty Lads”; for poetry, we have “Unfinished” by Eugen Bacon and “After The End” by Jessica Cho. Plus an interview with the author of Victories Greater Than Death, Never Say You Can’t Survive, and Even Greater Mistakes, Charlie Jane Anders. Enjoy!