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A Time for Understanding – Lisa Fox

November 2019

I lay your bulky, yellow head on my lap, your labored breaths hot against my nightdress. Your massive Labrador paws thrash against an unrelenting hardwood floor, as if you’re trying to run to a place without pain. I press my cheek into your soft fur; it cushions the fear that strikes with each violent spasm that threatens to take you from me. I pull you close, wrapping myself around you until the yelps subside to whimpers. Your body shudders. You exhale, deep and deliberate, pushing out the hurt. Your body calms. It is quiet.

I lean back against the cold wall, the chill a respite from the icy-hot adrenaline that pulled me from my dreams to your side. I pet you with long, careful strokes. Your muscles twitch beneath my fingers. A plume of your fur, like dust, hovers above my touch.

As the moon through the bay window bathes us in a ghostly light, I watch you breathe.

I will myself to linger in this moment, to relish the warmth of you.

I run my fingers over your ears and down your neck. I kiss your nose. Still wet.

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A Time for Understanding – Lisa Fox
I lay your bulky, yellow head on my lap, your labored breaths hot against my nightdress. Your massive Labrador paws thrash against an unrelenting hardwood floor, as if you’re trying to run to a place without pain. I press my cheek into your soft fur; it cushions the fear that strikes with each violent spasm that threatens to take you from me. I pull you close, wrapping myself around you until the yelps subside to …
Read it "A Time for Understanding – Lisa Fox"
Via Dolorosa – Christine Lucas
“Your father crapped himself,” croaks her aunt’s ghost. “Go clean him up!” “Yes, Aunt Katina.” Father craps himself every other hour; Maro needs to finish the bills first. But the numbers won’t add up. Father’s pension isn’t enough anymore. “Such a worthless daughter,” mutters the ghost. “I envy your mother, who’s not around to watch!” Of all the ghosts in this damned house, Aunt Katina had to be the talkative one. Maro shoves the bills …
Read it "Via Dolorosa – Christine Lucas"
Rooks on Sundays – Jack Neel Waddell
“You never liked to play chess with me,” she says. The board lies on a tray across her bed. Pillows prop her up slightly, just enough to see the pieces. She reaches out a wrinkled hand, skin both pale and blotched brown, like the flesh of an apple left out too long. She grabs a rook that she carved, perhaps twenty-five years ago, from purpleheart wood. Today she remembers how it moves. “I know how …
Read it "Rooks on Sundays – Jack Neel Waddell"
Super – Yume Kitasei
The last time Jack Wu jumped off a building, he nearly lost an arm clipping the fire escape. Something wrong with his takeoff. Maybe it took a few seconds longer to catch an upstream or something, he didn’t know. God, it had hurt like hell. But then he was up in the arms of the grey sky again, his hands out in front of him in the night above the city, looking for trouble. When …
Read it "Super – Yume Kitasei"

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A Time for Understanding – Lisa Fox

I lay your bulky, yellow head on my lap, your labored breaths hot against my nightdress. Your massive Labrador paws thrash against an unrelenting hardwood floor, as if you’re trying to run to a place without pain. I press my cheek into your soft fur; it cushions the fear that strikes with each violent spasm that threatens to take you from me. I pull you close, wrapping myself around you until the yelps subside to …

It came from Phoenix Alexander

Phoenix Alexander’s story “One for the Wounded” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 10 May 2019. I was visiting family in Cyprus in the summer of 2018 and reading Alexander Chee’s The Queen of the Night in the lazy, languid, 110-degree days. The sensory richness of the novel – the heightened emotion and drama of the narrative, the piled-on details of cloth and scent and stone – inspired me to try to write something similarly …

A question for Jess Koch

Q: Why do you write speculative rather than realistic fiction?

A: Speculative fiction work can, and often does, examine the same questions that realistic fiction poses but it’s allowed to find answers in ways that are unbound by the limitations of reality. I find that to be quite creatively freeing. And while I love and appreciate all genres of writing, I’ve found my home in the strange and liminal world of speculative fiction.


Jess Koch’s story “Fur and Feathers
in Metaphorosis Friday, 22 November 2019.
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Via Dolorosa – Christine Lucas

“Your father crapped himself,” croaks her aunt’s ghost. “Go clean him up!” “Yes, Aunt Katina.” Father craps himself every other hour; Maro needs to finish the bills first. But the numbers won’t add up. Father’s pension isn’t enough anymore. “Such a worthless daughter,” mutters the ghost. “I envy your mother, who’s not around to watch!” Of all the ghosts in this damned house, Aunt Katina had to be the talkative one. Maro shoves the bills …

It came from Katrina Smith

Katrina Smith’s story “Somewhere to be Going” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 3 May 2019. I have an obsession with birds who leave their young to be fostered by different species, and I have a fifteen year old son. Over the years, he’s given me motivation when I’ve needed it and been my biggest fan. I’ve written him a short story for his birthday nearly every year since he learned to read. Sometimes these …