HOPper – Charlotte H. Lee

HOPper shut off the light as his mistress left the kitchen, scrubbing at her eyes while she made her way down the hallway to the bedrooms. Just as Vanessa reached the girls’ door, he dimmed the hall light from the standard eight hundred lumens to three hundred so it wouldn’t wake the children. Once again, six-year-old Sadie’s book of fairy tales had fallen to the floor. HOPper kindled the desk lamp and waited until Vanessa…

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It came from N. R. Lambert

N. R. Lambert’s story “Business as Usual” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 13 January 2017. I started writing “Business As Usual” in 2015. I wish I could remember exactly which of the many horrific gun-related incidents that year first planted the seed of this story in my mind. It would mean that these events occurred rarely enough to stand out from each other. Unfortunately, each day in America, an average of 93 people are…

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Another question for Karl Dandenell

Q: What is the most effort you’ve ever put into making dinner?

A: Once, when trying to impress a date, I attempted to make surf and turf with rice pilaf on an old electric stove that had only 3 functional burners. I went to three stores (and spent most of my grocery budget for the week) to get all the ingredients.

I’d never cooked lobster before, and didn’t think to follow a recipe. I also used a cut of filet minion suitable for a single serving (not two). And I started the rice pilaf 35 minutes before my date was supposed to arrive.

Now rice pilaf takes a long time to cook properly – you really need to mince the onion and use a hot pan — but not too hot — to get the rice consistency just so. You also have to keep an eye on things. If the stock boils too fast, things burn. Too slow, and you get soup. Ideally, I like about 45 minutes to do the dish properly.

So, with minimal counter space, I tried to balance the prep and cooking for three dishes with the goal of having everything finished at the same time.

I was not successful. The steak was fine, the lobster passable, but the pilaf turned into porridge.

Still, two out of three was enough to impress the young lady.

Karl Dandenell’s story “Papa Pedro’s Children” will be published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 28 July 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

About Jamie Lackey

Jamie Lackey lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and their cat. In addition to writing, she spends her time reading, playing tabletop RPGs, baking, watching anime, and hiking.


Jamie Lackey’s story “Shadows on Glass” will be published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 4 August 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

The Circe Test – Nora Mulligan

Circe knelt in front of the pig, holding its face so that its eyes looked into hers. “You are not really a pig,” she said to it. “You know that. Think. Remember who you are, what you are, and you will return to that form.” The pig’s eyes blinked. It struggled in a panic to escape from her. Look as she might, Circe could see no traces of human intelligence in its face. With a…

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