In the February issue of Fantasy Magazine…Original fiction by Innocent Chizaram Ilo (“Flight”) and David James Brock (“Kisser”); flash fiction by Sharang Biswas (“Of Course You Screamed”) and Shingai Njeri Kagunda (“Blackman’s Flight in Four Parts”); poetry by Danielle Jean Atkinson (“Like a Box of Chocolates”) and Lynette Mejía (“What My Mother Taught Me”); and a new essay, “The Validity of Escapism,” by Andrea Stewart. Thanks for reading!
In This Issue: Feb. 2021 (Issue 64)
No editorial found.
Part 1. / Blackman knew lack / Of gravity before gravity / had a name / Black man flew before he was told to / Till the ground / Till the ground / Till the ground / Till he forget to look at the sky / Till Blackman forget he knew how to fly
In the February issue of Fantasy Magazine . . . Original fiction by Innocent Chizaram Ilo (“Flight”) and David James Brock (“Kisser”); flash fiction by Sharang Biswas (“Of Course You Screamed”) and Shingai Njeri Kagunda (“Blackman’s Flight in Four Parts”); poetry by Danielle Jean Atkinson (“Like a Box of Chocolates”) and Lynette Mejía (“What My Mother Taught Me”); and a new essay, “The Validity of Escapism,” by Andrea Stewart. Thanks for reading!
Bragg sleeps alone. Thirty-four. This morning, he wakes up with one less tooth in his mouth, a central incisor. What his dentist, later and while looking at a dental chart, calls the patient’s Number Nine. Bragg’s Number Nine, root to crown, a crucial corn-on-the-cob tooth, is not in his mouth. It’s on the pillow beside him. Bragg rubs sleep from his eyes. That first glimpse of the tooth sends his tongue darting to the front of his mouth. An absence. A canyon.
Herb lore and craft, the art / of speaking to trees. That the best / paths through a garden never run / straight. To cherish the wild places, / and enter them with a bowed head and an open heart.
Sunsets are never beautiful here. Instead, it’s as though the sky burns red and hot, the lengthening shadows falling like ash, smudging and darkening everything they touch. This isn’t the comforting darkness of your cottage, where your grandmother’s well-worn furniture provided soft edges. (What did they do to your grandmother? Did they hang her like the others?)
You may pick one, says the goblin chocolatier. / The box is a vibrant garden of sweets neatly arranged. / A sugar rose so real it seems grown, stolen from some witch bramble of candy thorns and gum drop hips. A truffle banded white and blue that smells of fresh cut grass and rain.
Tonight, Jekwu and Izu are perched on Chapel’s fence. They love this fence. It is the only fence in Selemku that is still coated with fresh algae-spirogyra lichen, warm under their feet, like a rug. Here, the glint of the full moon on Chapel’s stained-glass windows crisscrosses their grey feathers, the same way rainbow beams stretch out across the sky in the mornings. The air from this height is cold and dry. It wriggles its way under their skin, sending spasms down their spine. From time to time, the halogen-bulb atop the belfry comes on and then goes off and then on again. A never-ending cycle.
I was a lonely kid. As a nerdy, quiet child with big glasses and braces, I was at the bottom of the social pecking order. Books—fantasy books in particular—were my escape. I gravitated toward stories where the underdog gets what they want through sheer determination or discovers they have magical powers, or both.