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Ahokupe’s wrists jerked as the sennit ropes were tied tight behind him, and he bit his lip against the pain. Forcing his spirit to quiet, he breathed the subtle scents of rotting durian from the surrounding forest and focused his gaze on a parrot in a nearby rambutan tree. If he was to be fed to the God this day, his last thoughts would be a calm lagoon.
Before him, the stone path twisted through the jungle for several paces before disappearing into a riot of green leaves and red berries on its way to Maniloa’s lair. Behind him, the gentle rush of waves and chirps of a flycatcher were pierced by Kaulaki’s ugly grunts as he spoke with his grovelers.
Ahokupe turned to face a wall of bare chests and spears, scowling at the pigs who shared his island: Arii the stuttering one, too tongue-tied to hold Liliha’s attention for a minute. Fat Keoni, who had wailed like a girl when struck by a branch during combat. Whetu, too dumb to spear a tapir when it crawled through his hut. And several more, all of whom thought themselves better than Ahokupe simply because they shared kinship or friendship with the Kaulaki clan. A curse on all their names.
Behind them beckoned the white sand and blue waters of the sea, and Ahokupe turned his gaze there, offering a silent prayer to Faumea. His only regret, the only reason he could not spit in their faces just yet, was Liliha. He had to see her one last time.
As if the Goddess had answered his prayers, Liliha pushed between Whetu and Keoni and raced toward him, yanked to a halt by Kaulaki’s strong arm.
“You are a fool!” King Kaulaki shouted to Ahokupe, as Liliha struggled to free herself. “How could she want you?”
Ahokupe’s gaze travelled from the seashell lei atop Kaulaki’s bare chest into an angry face of scars and black whorls. Hava’iki’s king was a monster of black Tatau, his hair twisted around Malaye finger bones and embedded with parrot feathers.
Canoes of Hava’iki – Steve Rodgers
To the Eggplant Cannon – Beth Goder
Angels at the Border – Ian Rennie
Scraps – by Juliet Kemp
The lake’s still surface was a golden quilt. The churches which amassed along the shore over the centuries now had their fossilized features balanced between day and night. A most sacred moment. The eyestalks, V-shaped like the chalice from which the Savior had drunk her poison, framed the setting sun, the tails like the scepters with which she’d been prodded to trial facing the rising moon. One intake of breath, the sun dipped down, pulling…
Q: What’s the piece you’ve made that no one else thinks is as good as you do?
A: My favourite piece is a dragon I painted a few years ago. Non-artists seem to like it, but none of my peers do. I think its maybe not as technically proficient as it could be, but I loved painting it and it reflects those darker parts of my nature that most people don’t get to see, so it’s quite personal in that way. And well, I love dragons, so I don’t really care what my peers think, lol.
Candra Hope‘s image “Scraps” is the cover art for our April 2017 stories.
Hamilton Perez’s story “Strix Antiqua” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 16 September 2016. I’ve always been fascinated by old myths and folktales, and I like to keep compendiums of magical creatures close at hand when I’m writing. In one such compendium I discovered the strix, a bird from Roman mythology often associated with witches, owls, and the consumption of human flesh. Seemed like good material to work with. The first thing that came to…
Q: Do you prefer your SFF as books or movies?
A: While I love movies, I’m both a writer and an editor, so I pretty much have to say that I prefer books. And I really do! For a bunch of reasons. For one thing, they’re much more cost-effective! Just compare how much time you spend enjoying a book versus a movie, and these days you can usually get a book for less than a movie ticket. Plus, I love how books let you get deeper into the characters, into the backstory, just deeper into the whole world. There are lots of great SFF movies out there, but it’s the rare one that can compare to the book.
Timothy Mudie’s story “Sundown on the Hill” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 31 March 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
Juliet Kemp lives in London, UK with her partners, kid, and dog. She is fortunate enough to be able to see the Thames out of her window when writing, which is either inspiring, distracting, or both. When she’s not writing or running round the house trying to keep up with the kid, she reads a lot, drinks too much tea, makes things out of yarn and fabric, and goes climbing a bit less often than she would like. She blogs intermittently at http://julietkemp.com and tweets at @julietk.
Juliet Kemp’s story “Scraps” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 7 April 2017. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.
“If you’re really my future self,” I said, “convince me.” “Because stopping time isn’t convincing.” “I believe you have a time machine. Prove you’re me.” I tried again to straighten my head. “If you’re me, you know how.” He smiled, sort of, anxious lines softening around his mouth. Would I become this sour-faced man? “And I know you’ve thought this through. Three secrets nobody knows.” “Now, only things I’d never tell any—” “In the treefort…