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With Eyes Half Open – Frances Pauli

April 2019

The circus smelled of magic, of popcorn, dung, and cotton candy. Miranda squinted as she entered, just like the book suggested. She followed the crowd through the gate, then slipped between the wagons, searching for something only half open eyes could see.

Magic dwells in the halfway places, in the between times and the long shadows that cannot be perceived with the eyes wide.

She’d borrowed the book without asking, the one with gold designs on the cover and a layer of dust marred only by her aunt’s knobby fingerprints. Miranda had read the bits of it that she could understand, cradling the tome underneath the covers in the late hours while her aunt slept.

That was how she knew the jugglers were only ordinary jugglers. It was how she knew the strong man and his dumbbells were fake. Miranda squinted at them all and found only disappointment.

Until she saw the bear.

He lay against the back of his cage, striped with the shadows of iron bars and wearing a pill box hat on his wide head. When Miranda squinted at the bear, his edges shifted. The dense, cinnamon fur melted and smoothed. Inside the bear, a man hid. Inside the cage, he stared at her with soft, brown eyes.

Miranda stepped closer, whispered. “I think you’re more than just a bear.”

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With Eyes Half Open – Frances Pauli
The circus smelled of magic, of popcorn, dung, and cotton candy. Miranda squinted as she entered, just like the book suggested. She followed the crowd through the gate, then slipped between the wagons, searching for something only half open eyes could see. Magic dwells in the halfway places, in the between times and the long shadows that cannot be perceived with the eyes wide. She’d borrowed the book without asking, the one with gold designs …
Read it "With Eyes Half Open – Frances Pauli"
Forever and a Life – Daniel Roy
Transcripts of Mayfly interviews by Dr. Leanne Jansen. Sarah al-Awqati (childhood friend): “Fuck forever.” Yup, I was right in front of the stage when she first said that. I can say “she,” right? Interviewer: Sure, if you like. Al-Awqati: She was smoking a cig on stage when she said it. Ever seen those? Little paper sticks that smelled like burnt grass. Anyway: [Al-Awqati inhales an imaginary cig, then exhales invisible smoke as she speaks.] “Fuck …
Read it "Forever and a Life – Daniel Roy"
A Yellow Landscape – Sarah McGill
I dream of vast landscapes. The distance bends like cotton on a washing line or a rabbit vanishing down a hole. In my dream, women come, carrying brutally tined forks. Their hands crook around their bodies and somehow they are monstrous and too big. I walk, and I think I’m looking for a better landscape. Or only another landscape. This place is too wide and I pool borderless across it. A woman draws her fork …
Read it "A Yellow Landscape – Sarah McGill"
The Color of My Home is Red Like an Apple – Evan Marcroft
The color of my home is red like an apple. That is what God told the father of all my fathers, who told all their daughters, who told me. I do not know what an apple is, only that it is sweet and red like my home. My name is Anan. I have lived as long as nine suns, and I have always served God. When I was a baby, my father was chosen to …
Read it "The Color of My Home is Red Like an Apple – Evan Marcroft"

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With Eyes Half Open – Frances Pauli

The circus smelled of magic, of popcorn, dung, and cotton candy. Miranda squinted as she entered, just like the book suggested. She followed the crowd through the gate, then slipped between the wagons, searching for something only half open eyes could see. Magic dwells in the halfway places, in the between times and the long shadows that cannot be perceived with the eyes wide. She’d borrowed the book without asking, the one with gold designs …

It came from Michael Gardner (yet again)

Michael Gardner’s story “Nana Naoko’s Garden” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 12 October 2018. My own Nana is a fantastic gardener. The garden she had when I was a kid was amazing. A huge, sprawling garden filled with trees, shrubs, flowers and neatly manicured lawns. It had so many elements that seemed magical, including a fernery along the back of her house, a small bridge and goldfish pond, vegetable patches that my Papa tended …

A question for Luke Murphy

Q: Do you live near where you were born? Have you traveled much?

A: I was born in a city that no longer exists: West Berlin, during the Cold War. After the collapse of communist East Germany in 1989, Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall are just tourist attractions now. I like to revisit it as it once was by reading Len Deighton’s spy novels of the era. I grew up in the city of Kilkenny in Ireland, where I went to Jonathan Swift’s former school. Toronto’s my home now, but I still love to travel and have lots of places I want to go. And some special places I’d love to go back to, like Istanbul, the Indian city of Udaipur, and a tiny village in the foothills of the French Pyrénées.


Luke Murphy’s story “A Sacrifice for the Queen
in Metaphorosis Friday, 26 April 2019.
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May 2019

MetaphorosisBeautifully written speculative fiction from Metaphorosis magazine.

All the stories from the month, plus author biographies, interviews, and story origins.

Table of Contents

  • Somewhere to be Going — Katrina Smith
  • One for the Wounded — Phoenix Alexander
  • In the Beating of a Wing — David Cleden
  • The Memory Dresser — Nicholas M. Stillman
  • Unmasked — Tomas Marcantonio

Cover art by Melissa Kojima.

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Forever and a Life – Daniel Roy

Transcripts of Mayfly interviews by Dr. Leanne Jansen. Sarah al-Awqati (childhood friend): “Fuck forever.” Yup, I was right in front of the stage when she first said that. I can say “she,” right? Interviewer: Sure, if you like. Al-Awqati: She was smoking a cig on stage when she said it. Ever seen those? Little paper sticks that smelled like burnt grass. Anyway: [Al-Awqati inhales an imaginary cig, then exhales invisible smoke as she speaks.] “Fuck …