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Two Villains, a Notebook, and a Lump of Coal – Helen French

Metaphorosis January 2019Alone in a badly-lit corridor in the still of night, Leora wondered if she’d made a terrible mistake.

She’d stolen what she’d broken into Namose College to steal and yet it felt like everything was on the verge of going wrong.

Nothing good had ever happened to her in this vile magician’s den, that was true. But she was halfway out of the building. Victory, of a sort, was hers.

And yet… There was something wrong with the air. It didn’t smell right.

She carried on towards the way out. Now and then she stopped, sure she’d heard a noise, that someone would discover her trespassing at any moment.

Eventually, she came to a set of doors that were not her exit but instead an entrance to the stairwell, leading both up to the higher floors of the college, and down into the basement. Tendrils of smoke crept out from underneath the doors.

She pushed one open out of curiosity, only to find another person on the other side of it, slowly coming up the stairs.

They both paused.

The man opposite looked like a student, who ought to know in an instant that she was a fraud and sound the alarm for intruders…

Keep reading“Two Villains, a Notebook, and a Lump of Coal – Helen French”

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Two Villains, a Notebook, and a Lump of Coal – Helen French
Alone in a badly-lit corridor in the still of night, Leora wondered if she’d made a terrible mistake. She’d stolen what she’d broken into Namose College to steal and yet it felt like everything was on the verge of going wrong. Nothing good had ever happened to her in this vile magician’s den, that was true. But she was halfway out of the building. Victory, of a sort, was hers. And yet… There was something …
Read it "Two Villains, a Notebook, and a Lump of Coal – Helen French"
Five Star Review – Alyssa N. Vaughn
“We need to get serious about losing weight.” my mother says as she tosses the empty pizza boxes next to the recycling bin. “I beg your pardon?” I manage to sputter, following behind her to break the boxes down into smaller pieces that will actually fit inside the bin. My toddler, Johnny, is in bed already, but my mother insists that we have “girl time” at the end of each one of her unannounced visits. …
Read it "Five Star Review – Alyssa N. Vaughn"
The Book of Regrets – M.J. Gardner
Christmas Eve, 2014, Cobourg, Ontario, Canada When Craig came into the living room with two steaming mugs of hot mulled cider, Adam had already moved the small pile of Christmas gifts from under the tree to the ottoman that doubled as a coffee table. The room smelled of wood smoke and pine and now cinnamon and apples. A two-storey window showed the deep blue Lake silvered by the moon under a black sky. The moon, …
Read it "The Book of Regrets – M.J. Gardner"
Cinders and Snow – Kathryn Yelinek
The prince was old before his time. Candlelight from ballroom chandeliers softened the gray in his hair. He whirled yet another eligible young lady through a minuet, his movements practiced and sure, but he limped, round-shouldered. He was not yet twenty-five. “The hall looks so elegant,” the lady simpered between steps. “Like a winter wonderland.” “My mother’s idea.” Roderick smiled because he should. “She knew a ball would melt the midwinter cold.” The queen mother …
Read it "Cinders and Snow – Kathryn Yelinek"

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Two Villains, a Notebook, and a Lump of Coal – Helen French

Alone in a badly-lit corridor in the still of night, Leora wondered if she’d made a terrible mistake. She’d stolen what she’d broken into Namose College to steal and yet it felt like everything was on the verge of going wrong. Nothing good had ever happened to her in this vile magician’s den, that was true. But she was halfway out of the building. Victory, of a sort, was hers. And yet… There was something …

It came from Thom Connors

Thom Connors’s story “The Forest of New People” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 13 July 2018. Prior to being a musician, I was a Bastler. The story was autobiographical. Seriously though, one of the things I love about short stories is that they allow you to explore things that may not have received the same attention you believe they deserved. Magical consequences are a big one. I loved the idea of magic that has …

A question for Setsu Uzumé

Q: What do you think makes for a good story?

A: Voice. Voice is like the truth, but it’s flavored by awkward, embarrassing, and messy realities — not what you think the audience wants to hear. It gives insight and context that shapes everything else. Voice is the thing that makes a story different and interesting, the same way a person stands out when they represent themselves authentically. It isn’t always easy. Part of voice is exposing our hopes and fears to the scrutiny of strangers; but to me that’s what makes a story come alive.


Setsu Uzumé’s story “Snapped Dry, Scraped Clean”
in Metaphorosis Friday, 25 January 2019.
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About Amelia Dee Mueller

Amelia Dee Mueller lives in Dallas and is constantly disappointed that the Old West isn’t as present as one would think. A communications coordinator in local government by day, she spends her nights writing, reading, fencing, and streaming superhero movies with her cat. You can follow her on Twitter @AmeliaDMueller.


Amelia Dee Mueller’s story “The Lightkeeper’s Wife
in Metaphorosis Friday, 1 February 2019.
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Five Star Review – Alyssa N. Vaughn

“We need to get serious about losing weight.” my mother says as she tosses the empty pizza boxes next to the recycling bin. “I beg your pardon?” I manage to sputter, following behind her to break the boxes down into smaller pieces that will actually fit inside the bin. My toddler, Johnny, is in bed already, but my mother insists that we have “girl time” at the end of each one of her unannounced visits. …