From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

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Fiction

Fiction

To Look Forward

We are the ones who dare, back and forth; our hair whipping over, our hearts full of joy. Our bodies burn bright and clean and crisp, glistening when we reach the sun. A healthy tan has coated our skin, our foreheads drip with sweat, our palms firm and slick. We are: over and over again, up in the air; not known to each other, but known to the sky. Mid-jump, mid-action, mid-reaction, mid-air; always there, on rusted swings, on creaking chains, on hot-sun days, back and forth and over, once again.

Flash Fiction

An Introduction

Much pain comes from the inability to understand metaphor, so let us state up front that there is no magic door. There are also no magic keys, mirrors, picture frames, or postage stamps. We hope this does not upset you. Remember, there are magic doors everywhere. We see we are speaking too plainly. Let us begin again.

Fiction

And This is How to Stay Alive

Kabi finds my body swinging. I watch my sister press her back against the wall and slide to the ground. My mother shouts, “Kabi! Nyokabi!” No response. “Why are you not answering? Can you bring that brother of yours!” My sister is paralyzed, she cannot speak, she cannot move, except for the shivers that take hold of her spine and reverberate through the rest of her without permission. She is thinking No, no, no, no, no. But the word is not passing her lips which only open and close soundlessly. Mum is coming down the stairs.

Fiction

gezhizhwazh

everyone always tells wiindigo stories when they should be telling gezhizhwazh stories. that’s what this old one says.

Fiction

Black, Their Regalia

Outside, the quarantine train was unblemished white. Where its tracks skirted populated regions, barbed wire and warning signs—DANGER! ¡PELIGRO! INFECTIOUS MATERIALS! ¡SUSTANCIAS INFECCIOSAS!—discouraged trespassers from marking the cars with spray paint. The interior was another story. In her cabin, a narrow sleeper with four beds (one for Screaming Moraine, one for Fiddler Kristi, one for Drummer Tulli, and one for their carry-on luggage, several densely packed grocery bags, and an electric violin), Tulli found graffiti scrawled near her upper bunk.

Fiction

Eyes of Carven Emerald

Sunrise glinted bloody on giant tumbles of statue; it edged the palace beyond with blood. A limestone arm, severed elbow to thumb, came almost up to Alexandros’ waist. Fingers thick as logs lay scattered behind it. Sunrise glimmered in the statue’s blank, rain-filled eyes, and trickled down the pitted stone cheek. So too would Dareios of Persia have fallen, had the coward not fled.

Fiction

The Things My Mother Left Me

Tausi sat listening to her aunts, who crowded in a circle at the far end of the room. Their dresses were a kaleidoscope of greens, reds, blues, and yellows, each worked with repeating patterns that shifted with the eye. Huddled like that they seemed to her one polychromatic beast with seven heads and fourteen limbs. None of them made an effort to whisper as they planned her life.

Fiction

The Padishah Begum’s Reflections

Hidden by the feathers of the Peacock Throne, Jahanara watched the Frenchmen’s heads appear at the top of the steps. Diwan-i-Khas, the hall of so-called private audience, would loom before them now. Morning light caught on its outer pillars and scalloped arches, setting the whole aglow: marble embers sparking with pearl and silver inlay in creeper patterns wound around gearwork. Light slanted through the hall, danced on silk and dust and metal, and threw the delegates’ shadows in before them unannounced.

Fiction

Kaiju maximus®: “So Various, So Beautiful, So New”

It hadn’t come down since great-grandparent days, but as its last descent had left no stone on stone—nor man, woman, child alive—anywhere people had once dwelled aboveground on the continent, the hero would go up before it came down again, and kill the kaiju maximus. They would go too: the hero’s weakness, and her strength.

Fiction

The Lily and the Horn

War is a dinner party. My ladies and I have spent the dregs of summer making ready. We have hung garlands of pennyroyal and snowberries in the snug, familiar halls of Laburnum Castle, strained cheese as pure as ice for weeks in the caves and the kitchens, covered any gloomy stone with tapestries or stags’ heads with mistletoe braided through their antlers. We sent away south to the great markets of Mother-of-Millions for new silks and velvets and furs.