Nobody’s Girl by Jennifer Howard

Hello from the coast, where we’ve settled into the prettiest little seaside inn. From our window you can see forever across the ocean, not a cloud in sight. It’s blue skies every day here, Daddy. Only the seagulls cry.

C., charming as always, sends his regards. He is the perfect gentleman. I don’t know what I did to deserve him. He’s out riding this morning – I told him last night I think he loves that horse more than he loves me – I’ve been idle here, watching the waves swell and the hummingbirds dart.

I’m a lady of leisure now. It takes some getting used to after all those years of staying busy. Continue reading “Nobody’s Girl by Jennifer Howard”

From the Collected Works of the Eighty-First Mother Superior of the Noble and Holy Order of Sacred Sisters of the Three-Eyed Outcast and His Eldritch Brethren by T. Rios

CHAPTER EIGHT-HUNDRED AND FORTY-SEVEN

Concerning the communion of souls with the Forces Eldritch, and the means through which a Sister of the Three-Eyed Outcast can determine if a layperson has attained it—

 

In light of the apparitions that have begun proliferating in the bowels of our Western Abbey, it is only proper that we turn our attention towards the treatment of those unstuck from time, and the means through which their souls may be reunited with their bodies. But before we end our discussion of otherworldly communion, I would like to offer you an anecdote illustrating the capacity of laypeople to touch the Wild and Strange, and how it often amounts to more than clergy-members are apt to give it credit. Continue reading “From the Collected Works of the Eighty-First Mother Superior of the Noble and Holy Order of Sacred Sisters of the Three-Eyed Outcast and His Eldritch Brethren by T. Rios”

The Weight on Your Shoulder by Liz Xifaras

You are not afraid of spiders.

The one on the bathroom wall has a body as big as your thumbnail; glossy, iridescent. Legs stretching like black wire over white tile.

A bath of steaming clear water waits. Book lies on the side, pages curling in the heat. Mug of tea ready.

You are not afraid but you remove the spider all the same. Fetch a glass from the bedside table, a cardboard coaster. Blue with a silhouette of an orangutan printed on. Souvenir from that trip to the zoo when you held the hand of a love now lost, let yourself dream of returning one day in a wished-for future with your child. Smooth, stubby fingers held in yours. Round eyes staring at the animals. Blink that memory away now. Continue reading “The Weight on Your Shoulder by Liz Xifaras”

The Heaviness of All Things by Joseph Sale

I hold the scrawny thing to my chest, cradling it like a babe, its paws resting on my collar bones, its fur smelling like pine, its eyes the same colour as Kinko Bay, which stretches behind us, a black mirror scarred with moonlight, until it reaches the grey tower of Mount Sakurajima. In the state of cold fear our hearts beat at the same pace, knocking against each other, its shivering ribs rubbing over my own.

The fox’s eyes have found mine the way that two magnets lock. I feel, in a way that is outside of any sensory apparatus defined by scientific means, its desire for me to look, its desire to show me something in the mercurial glow of its silver gaze, what I need to know. Continue reading “The Heaviness of All Things by Joseph Sale”

Unturn This Stone by Aviva Treger

On a foul night in fickle early autumn, when the wind sobbed and wailed like a lost wandering wraith, Constance awoke from a garish dream, aghast to hear her garden crashing into the sea. It clattered down the cliff thud by thud into darkness, sodden by the pelting rain and bludgeoned by the gale.

Up at the farm, we kept an eye on our neighbour, so the next day I tracked through the glen to discover how she was. I remember the feral scent of the earth after rain – how that smell takes me back to that day. As I arrived, I saw Constance through a shroud of mist, waiting for me outside her house, wearing an ethereal smile; I remember thinking, ‘She looks frail’. How anyone could live here in such precariousness – crumbling in a cottage on a cliff edge, without electricity or gas, drawing water from a corroded pump, surviving in such isolation, always beggared belief, but especially someone of her age. Continue reading “Unturn This Stone by Aviva Treger”