Our latest story
Before Warsaw, I had spent days inventing myself as a pianist. Tailoring my biography, imagining what could happen in my possible lives. Love, perhaps, there was place for love; politics even, for it seemed inevitable. Betraying my kin—and then death—came merely as consequences.
The evening is cold: autumn has taken hold over us already. The train rolls into its final station, accompanied by a grinding screech and thick puffs of steam. People start spilling onto the platform. The sky above us is clear, the air crystalline. Instinct older than any language is tugging at me, forcing me to look up. I gaze into the pallid face of the Moon, and think of it: home.
Warsaw only comes second in my thoughts. I have been fantasizing about what it might be like, to wake and then fall asleep in this unknown city, to find its relentless struggle somewhat familiar to my own. In my first hours in the train carriage, I imagined and reimagined Warsaw, trying to contain the flutter in my chest. It’s been so long since I’ve been allowed the excitement of travel, the thrill of being among strangers. Warsaw was, as my brothers had highlighted many times, best avoided. Nowadays, it was not a city for any of us. Too unstable politically. Too many eyes and ears.
As the train passed through abandoned fields and trampled wheat, soil crusting in September’s early frost, the idea of moving to the capital lost some of its luster. And my correspondence with Abram Heber did not inspire excitement, either. From his letters I knew what I might expect—and that he wouldn’t be particularly enthused to see me in the city.
And he is not. I spot him on the station: black-clad and stern, frown not leaving his face for a single moment. Heber gives me a courteous bow and regards me in silence.
“This is not safe for you,” he finally says, by means of greeting.
“Thank you for your help,” I reply.
The Early History of the Moon – Karolina Fedyk
Ways to Face the Firing Squad – Anna Zumbro
Heartwood – L. Chan
Canoes of Hava’iki – Steve Rodgers
Christopher Cervelloni earned his MFA from Rutgers and currently lives and teaches in Denver, Colorado. When he’s not writing, he’s off in the mountains, skiing or hiking.
Christopher Cervelloni’s story “Trucks in Reverse” will be published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 9 June 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
Q: What do you think makes for a good story?
A: I think a good story has to engage us on multiple levels. When a writer is able to keep me spellbound with language or compelling images, makes me care about their characters, and provides an interesting plot to boot, this adds up to a story I won’t soon forget. Even better if we get a sense there is a driving force that unifies all of these elements. Most of all, I think a good story somehow shows its reader that it is honest.
Jason Baltazar’s story “The Questioning Bell” will be published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 26 May 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
- Light Winds With a Chance of Velociraptors – Michelle Ann King
- Trucks in Reverse – Christopher Cervelloni
- The Illuminator Leaves – Molly Etta
- One Divided by Eternity – Filip Wiltgren
- The Abjection Engine – Y. X. Acs
Cover art by Kaos Nest.
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Michelle Ann King was born in East London and now lives in Essex, where she writes short stories in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres. Her favourite author is Stephen King (sadly, no relation), and she also loves zombies, Las Vegas, and good Scotch whisky.
Michelle Ann King’s story “Light Winds With a Chance of Velociraptors” will be published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 2 June 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.