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The Song of the Moohee – Emmett Swan

May 2021

The vast Ossinian sea, empty and calm, spread out before me in all directions. The cloudless sky was brilliant blue. And alone I rode, on the back of a creature the size of a small house.

But this amazing animal was no mere brute. It was a professional transport, capable of communication. In fact, I had spoken to it, though I was certain my words had offended it. And now it swam stubbornly onward, ignoring my frequent hails.

My original destination had been an island called Lath. But my transport was now taking me elsewhere, though I did not know where, or even why. I was certain, however, that the change of plans was connected to my offending comments.

I should have known better than to speak my mind.

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It came from James Rumpel

James Rumpel’s story “Madam Savva’s Magical Emporium” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 6 November 2020. “Madam Savva’s Magical Emporium” was written at the end of March 2020. There were a lot of strange and unprecedented things happening in our world at that time, most of them negative. I had friends and family who were struggling with fear and adjusting to quarantine. My goal was to write a positive, upbeat tale to remind myself and …

A question for Jason A. Bartles

Q: What is your favorite fairy tale and why?

A: Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub! What’s not to like about that? Okay, I suppose that’s cheating. It’s a nursery rhyme, not a fairy tale, technically speaking, but since this answer doesn’t have to go through peer review, I’m sticking with it. Though the lyrics have changed over the centuries, I can’t help but hear it as a quintessential queer image hiding in plain sight, and it always makes me wonder: Who are these gents? Why are they floating out to sea? Just how big is that tub? And importantly, is there room for one more?


Jason A. Bartles’s story “Leiprenese 101
in Metaphorosis Friday, 21 May 2021.
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More about Mariah Montoya

Mariah Montoya is a writer and new mother from Idaho. She loves watching movies and losing at chess games on cold, blustery days. On sunny ones, you can find her running with her husband and a stroller along the Boise river. You can’t convince her to use Twitter, but she’s sometimes on Instagram @mariah_author.


Mariah Montoya’s story “The Nocturnals I
in Metaphorosis Friday, 28 May 2021.
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A question for Emmett Swan

Q: Aliens. Are they out there?

A: We all want there to be, right? And we have all heard the argument based on the large numbers of possibilities in the universe. So many stars, many of which have planets, means tons of opportunities for intelligent life to develop. The odds are favorable, I believe, that there are aliens out there. But now comes the bad news. Space is big. I know that you know it’s big, but it is hard to fathom just how big. This may put it in perspective: The Voyager probe, travelling at 35,000 miles per hour, reached Pluto in ten years. How long would it take to reach the nearest solar system? 835 centuries! For comparison, scholars place the dawn of civilization at 50 centuries ago. But, you say, surely we can build a faster ship. How much faster? Ten times? One hundred times? Even at one thousand times faster, it would still take nearly a century to get to the closest solar system.

And if there are aliens out there, it is not likely they are in the next solar system over, or even the one past that. Heck, they may be hanging out in the next galaxy over. Even traveling at the speed of light, it would take millions of years to reach the nearest large galaxy.

Yeah, there are aliens out there. But it’s just the dismal reality that we will never get to meet them. Ever. Almost makes it worse than them not being there at all.


Emmett Swan’s story “The Song of the Moohee
in Metaphorosis Friday, 14 May 2021.
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