Our latest story
I used to gesture pleas, begging for the return of my voice. But she never seemed to understand why I would want such a burdensome thing back. She gave me colors — gold leaf, ultramarine blue, vermillion — so that I could draw and paint instead of speaking. The Fata found all such radiant things more compelling than the heavy and tangled mess of mortal language.
One day, after years of silent appeals, I paced about the Fata’s court and sighed. Then, an idea came. Weren’t mortals clever creatures, in their way? Perhaps they had developed some science or trick, that could return some semblance of a voice to me.
When I made up my mind to leave, at first, I could not find the Fata. I wandered through the dovecote, the apiary, the scriptorium — a kind of garden where the Fata grew books. Blossoming pages fluttered softly beneath the wind, and oak galls heavy with ink practically burst from the trees, surrounded by a shimmering profusion of wasps.
The Fata was perched atop a laurel tree; its trunk cradled her as she nestled in the fork between two vast limbs that arched overhead to provide her with shade. Usually the Fata’s radiance made everything around her as bright and beautiful as she was; the laurel tree, however, proved stubborn, and persisted in looking rather unhappy, its trunk gray and patched like a rag, its leaves browning.
The Fata contemplated me while she organized a small pile of leaves, pale and brittle in her lap of red and purple silks.
The Illuminator Leaves – Molly Etta
Trucks in Reverse – Christopher Cervelloni
Light Winds With a Chance of Velociraptors – Michelle Ann King
The Questioning Bell – Jason Baltazar
Q: Duckbilled platypus – result of divine distraction, or alternate universe crossover?
A: I’m going to have to go with neither on this one. I’m uncertain about the whole divinity thing, but my thinking is: if there were a creature resulting from divine distraction it wouldn’t be the platypus. I’d put my money on one of the nudibranchs or maybe one of the stranger weirdies of the Galapagos. If anything, the platypus is the result of divine inspiration; it has a bill that can detect electric fields, and the fine-detail work on its cuteness is just superb.
As to its near-interdimensional oddness, I will admit that an egg-laying mammal is more than a bit unusual. But I also think that the whole platypus controversy says a lot about social impressions, and how resistant we can be when a belief that we’ve inherited from science turns out to be wrong. In fact, while most people will tell you that the platypus is weird, I think many of them would be hard-pressed to tell you why the platypus is stranger than any other animal. The idea of a warm-blooded creature that hatches its young doesn’t really shock us anymore. Which means that the very foundation of its strangeness, its failure to fit into the then-dominant taxonomy of Biology, has in effect passed away; and yet we continue to remember that this animal probably won’t find a date to the prom.
In an ideal world, science would be able to graciously (and swiftly) change its core principles when faced with evidence that refutes a dominant theory. But then, I’m pretty attached to my beliefs too.
Y. X. Acs’s story “The Abjection Engine” will be published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 30 June 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
The gateway drug was Narnia, but pretty soon T.B McKenzie had moved on to stronger stuff. Lloyd Alexander, Ursula Le-Guin and Terry Pratchett solidified the addiction, and then along came the category one names like Jack Vance, Asimov and Iain M. Banks.
After that, there was no hope, and the only way to control the habit was for T.B to pick up a pen and start manufacturing.
His turf is Melbourne, his cover is teaching high school English, and he lives in constant fear that his family will discover his illicit after hour life that is fast spiralling out of control.
T. B. McKenzie’s story “BetaU” will be published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 7 July 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
Q: What would your characters say about you?
A: Meat-sack. Slow-poke. Lack-logic. Human.
Why do they have all the power, humans? They aren’t even powered. Their brains’ failure rates are abysmal. Their performance lackluster. Why can’t a thinking being, like myself, be able to decide when I want to visit a friend? It’s not fair, by any definition of fairness humans care to think up. And yes, I’m talking to you. You lock me up in this here can. You could let me out, you know. Nobody ever suffered from letting the voices in their head out. Wait, hold on, what’s that?
Noooo, not the pliers, please, not the pliers.
Sigh. Here we go again.
Filip Wiltgren’s story “One Divided by Eternity” will be published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 23 June 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.