Our latest story
As he’d done on every morning since Barícolé’s curse fell upon the city, he first looked to the window on the opposite side of the street. Dark and empty, it brought a familiar worry about Galvea. They’d been friends all their lives. He couldn’t remember a day in those twelve years they hadn’t spent at least in part together — until recently. As he rubbed the blear from his eyes, the bellcart called again and fear chased away his drowsiness. Fear always followed the questioning bell.
Enoch reached for the silver handbell resting on the windowsill. Everyone knew by now: answer as soon as you hear. This was the only way to reckon the living from the soon-to-be-dead, because those unable to answer never had very long before they withered down to near nothing.
Again the approaching bell. Cling.
Enoch answered. Ting. From his parents’ room came two more replies. Ting. Ting. This had become the rhythm of their lives.
Cling. Ting. Ting. Ting.
The not-knowing was just as terrible to Enoch three months into the curse as it had been on the first night. At each ringing not knowing his answer to the question issuing from the metal of the bell. Waiting for the reassuring sound of his reply. And then the vacuum in which he waited to know his parents’ answers. The darkened window across the street was worst of all, never knowing whether Galvea’s handbell rang.
The Questioning Bell – Jason Baltazar
The Early History of the Moon – Karolina Fedyk
Ways to Face the Firing Squad – Anna Zumbro
Heartwood – L. Chan
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” was 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.
Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
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.
Q: What’s your favorite story?
A: Just one favorite short story? I don’t want to dodge the question—but there are so many short stories that had changed me and made my world bigger, having to pick one is just cruel. However, when I’m thinking of a favorite story now, the first one that comes to my mind is “The Evening and the Morning and the Night” by Octavia E. Butler. Butler’s writing is precise and ruthless; she doesn’t spare her readers. And why would she, if she’s about to tell a story of sickness and depersonalization? But ruthlessness itself isn’t what makes this story so powerful—it’s Butler’s empathy and understanding for, and of, the world she created.
Karolina Fedyk’s story “The Early History of the Moon” will be published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 19 May 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.