Salty tears dripping into my fur and steaming off in the dry heat.
You hug me tightly, I feel your ragged breathing, your shivers as you hold in the sobs that want to be free.
I want to offer more comfort, but what am I? – Just bits of fabric with plush stuffing, a pink button nose and a pair of beaded eyes. I can do no more than be hugged, do no more than silently offer sympathy, wish to the legendary stuffed toys of the past – and to Veleveteen most of all – that I can do more.
Tucked behind the cracks in the plaster and the peeling, wallpaper print, we watch you draw a blade. You stand in the kitchen, holding the steel in your right hand. A finger slides down the sharp edge, testing its strength as you do calculations in your head. The slow creep of a smile indicates you are happy with your choice. Drawn away in visions to the future, everything is interrupted by a quick slip and slice as you drop the knife. We notice the dribble of blood, a bead welling at the tip, inviting a hungry mouth. You bring the cut to your lips and suck on it a moment and then examine the depth.
Dream Foundry is a new organization helping all professionals, especially beginners, working in the speculative arts. Back their Kickstarter to make sure they last and grow, and to get yourself some nifty rewards.
Growing up so far from the wordfields, I’ve learned to appreciate the few words I have, so as the fitting for Baron Kensington’s festival garments drag on, I cringe at each wasted remark. (Continue Reading…)
No one could say for sure exactly when the dinosaurs started appearing outside the little mining town of Hell Creek, nor where they’d come from. Rumors of cattle found dead with long slashes across their hides went back to the 1850s, but the raptors had been showing up more often in the last few decades, even coming into town when food got scarce.
People said they came from under the ground, down from the depths of Hell itself, and that the miners’ dynamite woke ’em up. Rosita’s abuela said they were descended from some kind of feathered lizard god.
Rosita didn’t particularly care about any of that. She just wanted to ride one.(Continue Reading…)
The Hugo Awards have these things they call nominations tallys but they are commonly referred to as The Long Lists. These include the top fifteen nominees, and show who just missed making the finals. For example, Escape Pod, PodCastle, and Mothership Zeta all made the long list last year for Semiprozine.
One of the great values of these long lists is that it allows readers even more excellent works to add to their “to read” pile. David Steffen has worked to make mining those lists significantly more convenient for you. For the third year in a row, David has published a volume of The Long List Anthology. In this most recent version are included works from names familiar to fans of Escape Artists. Lavie Tidhar, Ursula Vernon, Caroline M. Yoachim, and Ken Liu, among a host of amazing others.
I hate this tower. It’s all busted up, from its crooked lean to its crumbling roof. It’s been four years, and still no prince has come. I’d prefer a princess, but whatever. I’d take anything to get out of this godforsaken tower. There’s nothing to do except brush my twenty-five-foot-long hair and clean. I know what you’re about to say, and I’ve said it too: Why not cut it? Well, I’m given supplies through the crack in the roof twice a month, and I am given nothing sharp. I guess my parents think I might commit suicide, if given the chance. They aren’t completely wrong–I’d probably at least try. (Continue Reading…)
I’m sorry to say Master lay charred and inert on the laboratory floor for a good quarter hour before I noticed he was dead. I regret pulling the wrong lever, resulting in an overflow of electricity from the storm, the brunt of which Master received, resulting in his death and a ruined experiment. I’m even sorrier to admit I then ate all his internal organs before I remembered to offer any to Harry the moaning subject chained to the metal chair in the middle of the room or to the rest of my brothers-in-stitches in the downstairs dungeon.
Angela & Joel Enos were raised by the same two people though they sometimes think it was in differing parallel dimensions. The goose told them this was possible as it chased them down the path. Their work together tends to reflect this confounding combination of events.
Angela Enos has been published in A Café in Space, Flapperhouse, Niteblade Magazine, Visibility Fiction, Nonbinary Review’s alphanumeric, and Body Parts Magazine. She is also a designer and artist whose work in theatre has been seen across the United States. Follow her on Twitter.
Joel Enos is a writer and editor who has written comics (Sonic the Hedgehog) and graphic novels (Ben 10 Omniverse) and published short fiction in Whispers from the Abyss, Visibility Fiction, The Lorelei Signal, Theme of Absence and Flapperhouse. Follow him online and on Twitter.
Tatiana Grey is a critically acclaimed actress of stage, screen, and the audio booth. She has been nominated for dozens of fancy awards but hasn’t won a single damned thing. She went to NYU and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Follow her online and on Twitter.
Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.