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 …

A question for Lisa Fox

Q: Do you often include animals in your stories? What role do they play?

A: It’s funny, although animals (particularly dogs) have always played a huge role in my life, I usually don’t include them in my work. That’s not to say I won’t do so in the future.

Aside from “A Time For Understanding,” I did write (and was fortunate enough to publish) a flash fiction piece – political satire – about a healthcare system that proposed using dogs as doulas to save costs on childbirth for the uninsured. It’s a crazy and bizarre story; the comfort my yellow lab (my real-life Cody) provided me during my two pregnancies – especially when I was on bed rest with my first – was an inspiration. And back in high school, I wrote a short story about how it felt to say goodbye to our 17 year-old poodle. It was riddled with teen angst but the sentiment was certainly there – it was a story I needed to write at the time.

I think animals serve so many different roles for us in life and I am personally convinced that that “one special dog” is the one waiting, tail wagging, to bring us to the other side when we pass on. Maybe I should write more about animals…


Lisa Fox’s story “A Time for Understanding
in Metaphorosis Friday, 15 November 2019.
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About Jess Koch

Jess Koch is a speculative fiction writer and graduate student at the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA Program. She works professionally as a software engineer in the animal healthcare industry and lives in Portland, Maine.

jesskoch.com, @jesskochwrites


Jess Koch’s story “Fur and Feathers
in Metaphorosis Friday, 22 November 2019.
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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 …