Fantasy magazine

From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

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Short Stories

Fiction

The Dybbuk Ward

I am not an illness. I’m a soul with a goal. Everyone on this floor is here for intrusive thoughts, ideations, risk of harm to themselves or others. What society used to call possession, they now call neurotransmitter imbalance or schizophrenia or obsessive compulsion.

Fiction

Christopher Mills, Return to Sender

This is the dead thing becoming the body. This is the dead thing opening the body’s eyes. This is the dead thing rising from the grave. This is the dead thing saying “What the hell—I didn’t ask to be summoned. I was having a great time being dead and dreaming about nothing.”

Fiction

Cousins Season

Last week, in a tangerine raincoat that did not suit her pallid skin tone, Phylicia Wimby smiled through her lies. There is an 87% chance of rain for tomorrow. Due to the high probability of unpleasant weather for the entire week, we predict the Cousins won’t be arriving until next week at the earliest, once the rain dries up. Her and all the other meteorologists in shiny citrus-colored vulcanized rubber swore to us that Cousins Season wasn’t coming for a while, that in Virginia we had more than a week to prepare.

Fiction

Slow Communication

Darla Revere was born to live her whole life as part of a conversation, the outcome of which she would never know. She was raised to be certain of three things: 1. The leviathan will come for you. She will come suddenly and without warning. 2. You will feel great joy and pain at the moment she contacts you. Be prepared. You may only ask her one question. 3. If you change yourself too much—if you do not bear resemblance to your mother, your grandmother, the long line of women the leviathan has touched—she may not be able to find you when it is your time.

Fiction

Free Coffin

The coffin lies at the curb, tilted aslant on the strip of grass next to the sidewalk. Old Mr. Byerly spies it on an evening walk through his suburban neighborhood. It’s been put out alongside a pile of other discards—an old-fashioned lawn mower, a chrome-legged kitchen table, a bookcase with only one shelf. The stuff is from a house that’s under renovation after sitting vacant for many months.

Fiction

Markets: A Beginner’s Guide

In the folds of banyan trees, between the treeish world and ours, are markets. Real markets, not the pale human sort that happen every week, as if things that are worth buying happen every week. A banyan market occurs one day a year, which is as often as trees are willing to entertain on such a lavish scale. And once a year is just barely enough time to make the stuff that trees dream of. – Revathi Kumar, ‘Markets: A Beginner’s Guide’

Fiction

The Rainmakers

“When in doubt—” I catch Thomas’s eyes and hold up a jar of sparkle lip gloss. “—add more glitter.” The mirror we face is cracked and wreathed in vanity lights that flicker in time with the strained chugging of the ancient generator outside. The smells of old perfume, road dust, and hush puppies fill the painted wooden wagon that serves triple duty as my transportation, home, and dressing room. I blame the generator for that last odour. We restocked on biodiesel at our last stop, and now everything smells like frying corn.

Fiction

Saviour of the Light Market

Rain soaks through my hair, stretching my coils to wavy locks streaming down my face. A cold gaze follows me through dark windows, reminding me of Lisa’s face. I complained about my parents, once.

Fiction

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.

Fiction

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.