From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

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Sep. 2021 (Issue 71)

In the September issue of Fantasy Magazine: Short fiction by Amal Singh (“What is Mercy”) and KP Kulski (“An Arrangement of Moss and Dirt”); flash fiction by Addison Smith (“Sounds for Crustaceans”) and Mark S. Bailen (“Lost Portals”); poetry by Oluwatomiwa Ajeigbe (“The Herbalist”) and Daniel Ausema (“The Forbidden Path to Forgetting”); and an interview with Jennifer Marie Brissett.

In This Issue: Sep. 2021 (Issue 71)

Nonfiction

Editorial: September 2021

In this issue’s short fiction, Amal Singh gives us a difficult reality check in “What Is Mercy,” and K.P. Kulski’s “An Arrangement of Moss and Dirt” reminds us to be careful what we wish for; in flash fiction, Addison Smith introduces us to a couple coming out of—or into—their shell in “Sounds for Crustaceans,” and Mark S. Bailen has a fresh perspective on portal stories with “Lost Portals”; for poetry, we have “The Herbalist” by Oluwatomiwa Ajeigbe and “The Forbidden Path to Forgetting” by Daniel Ausema. Plus an interview with Elysium and Destroyer of Light author Jennifer Marie Brissett. Enjoy!

Flash Fiction

Sounds for Crustaceans

“I’m a crustacean.”

Disbelief meets my gaze, then moves away. Jewel looks to the shells that decorate my room, the aquariums, the marked-down netting draped over my window. She looks to anything to save her the embarrassment of meeting my eyes, or the trouble of telling me I’m just a person, like her, like anyone. When she finally meets them, it is with resignation, and I know I’m being humored.

Nonfiction

Editorial: September 2021

In this issue’s short fiction, Amal Singh gives us a difficult reality check in “What Is Mercy,” and K.P. Kulski’s “An Arrangement of Moss and Dirt” reminds us to be careful what we wish for; in flash fiction, Addison Smith introduces us to a couple coming out of—or into—their shell in “Sounds for Crustaceans,” and Mark S. Bailen has a fresh perspective on portal stories with “Lost Portals”; for poetry, we have “The Herbalist” by Oluwatomiwa Ajeigbe and “The Forbidden Path to Forgetting” by Daniel Ausema. Plus an interview with Elysium and Destroyer of Light author Jennifer Marie Brissett. Enjoy!

Poetry

The Herbalist

My grandfather was a herbalist— / he mixed rare leaves and seeds, ground them together / & when he was done, he smeared the mixture on my forehead. / This will protect you from evil spirits, He said.

Fiction

What is Mercy?

Nanda hauls the bucket from the depths of the well, her palms aflame with red blisters from clutching the frayed rope too tight. The thick rope, screeching against the pulley, trembling under the weight of the water, becomes heavier by the minute. The minute she goes weak, the bucket will plunge, crashing into the sweet water below, and she’ll have to start the charade for the fourth time.

Author Spotlight

Flash Fiction

Lost Portals

In a furniture showroom in Stockholm stood a large wardrobe called a Kleppstad. It was made out of cheap particle board and wooden pegs. If the shelves were removed and a person scrunched inside, the back panel would disappear and a passage would open into the shuddering woods of Myrkvior, where the highland trolls dwell. But a forklift backed into the wardrobe and it was taken to a dumpster.

Poetry

The Forbidden Path to Forgetting

To trace the taboo labyrinth, sneak / past the frigid swells, between breakers, / make your way / up the pebbled strand, bare feet bleeding.

Fiction

An Arrangement of Moss and Dirt

I have spent a lifetime in front of this window, mortality seeping out in waves of nausea and lost weight. There she is, just beyond the grime-cornered glass, in the yard, playing like all children should. I almost tap to get her attention, to give a weak wave of longing and vanished time, but I only watch her move through the grass and tree trunks, hair blown by the breeze.

Author Spotlight

Nonfiction

Interview: Jennifer Marie Brissett

I began writing as a coping method, sneaking out of bed at night to work at my computer. I wasn’t sleeping much, anyway. This went on for a few years. I wasn’t doing it seriously, just writing what came to mind. There may have even been a novel attempt in there. I never showed anybody anything. It was just for me.