From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

CHOSEN ONES

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Fiction

Miss Carstairs and the Merman

The night Miss Carstairs first saw the merman, there was a great storm along the Massachusetts coast. Down in the harbor town, old men sat in taverns drinking hot rum and cocking their ears at the wind whining and whistling in the chimneys.

Fiction

Torn Away

The license was invalid by a couple of months, and the photo on it looked somewhat like him but it was faded and not reliable. I told him so. “Oh,” he said. “I should have noticed it was out of date.”

Fiction

Her Lover’s Golden Hair

Lily’s hand is not resting carelessly in her lap. Lily’s sandy feet are not up on the dashboard. Lily’s salty hair is not blowing into a knotted, lovely mess.

Fiction

Red Dawn: A Chow Mein Western

The boy felt a tingling at the tip of his fingers. He saw with his inner eye: The leader rode unarmed because his power was great. The aura of Qi around him was unmistakable.

Fiction

Seven Spells to Sever the Heart

Samuel Crewe was the son of a witch. He was, in fact, the seventh son of a witch, who had herself been one of seven daughters. In fairy tales, this sort of lineage was meant to point to great strength, good fortune, and adventures.

Fiction

The Invisibles

Here’s what you do, Jerry says. You get one of those little pipe tobacco tins and you put stuff in it. Important stuff. A fingernail. Some hair. A scab. Some dirt from a special place.

Fiction

The Secret Beach

Though I’m the kind of person who uses the self-checkout line at grocery stores just to avoid the necessity of small conversation with a human cashier, I blurted out, “Hey, where were you guys swimming?”

Fiction

Using It and Losing It

Pratt walked the distance to work, stopped in at his accustomed cigar store to buy cigarettes, and rode the elevator upstairs to his office; in short, his standard routine, without deviation—yet it didn’t feel right.

Fiction

Lessons from a Clockwork Queen

She pulled back the sheets and found the little hole in the queen’s throat where the winding key fit like a kiss, and she turned and turned the key until her shoulders ached and she couldn’t turn it anymore.

Fiction

Crossroads

John came to the crossroads at just shy of noon, where a man dressed all in black stared up at another man hanging from a gallows-tree. No, not hanging; he was being hung.