Spoiler: She Leaves Him – Jack Noble

There is no doubt about how this is going to go. “You’re not leaving me,” I tell her. It isn’t a plea. It’s a fact. It’s written in stone. I’ve seen it. She stands in the hallway, mostly hidden within a raincoat of garish red. It’s two sizes too big and the hood is bunched up at the back of her head. Her small face looks out at me, jaw set firm but something shifting …

A question for Kaitlin McCloughan

Q: Do you generally start with mood, title, character, concept, …?

A: My best stories start with a character.

At any given time I have several ideas floating around in my mind for settings, concepts, or even opening lines, but it isn’t until I attach a character to one of those ideas that the story begins to form. The rest of the story takes shape based on the character—what they desire, what they have to overcome, and so on.

I certainly never start with a title. Titles are the worst!

Kaitlin McCloughan’s story “The Flight Home” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 1 April 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

Living with the Betel goose

Living with the Betel goose

The main difficulty in befriending a Betel goose is the wings. For one thing, they’re not wings at all, but molecular-bond disruption planes that flicker within an 11-dimensional space. Mostly, you don’t notice it, but every now and then the flickering collapses a local tesseract probability, and an annoying film settles over every surface for a moment. Plus, they smell like ozone, and the wings get pretty warm.No one’s ever figured out just how the gooses travel. (Say ‘geese’ and you might as well set your comm to broadcast ‘TERRAN’. Only locals can pull off the half-guttural ‘jhooses’. Don’t try.) One minute, they’re hovering motionless across the room, and the next they’re sitting on your shoulder, crisping your ear-hair. Ultra-sonic flight, some say. Teleportation, say others. Me, I think they just walk. Those three legs have to be doing something, don’t they? I think they’re just walking in another dimension, and it takes a while for ours to catch up.You’re never quite sure you’re communicating with a goose (or jhoose). You can talk to it all you want, but they never say anything. Still, one morning you’ll wake up to find your blankets are made of super-soft Rtarian plum-skin, or that your sock drawer has been organized by total thread length. Or that you have a sock drawer. Take it all in stride, and you’re in for a beautiful friendship.

No one’s really sure what the jhooses get out of it. Theodore likes to perch on top of my rear head, which is good on cool days. I asked it (it’s not clear whether they have gender) once, on our first anniversary, what I could do to make it happy, and that very night, all my pots turned into durna-fiber – completely indestructible, a great heat conductor, and I can just fold them up to put them in the drawer. I admit, I haven’t yet found the trick of getting the durna-fiber to hold its shape, so it’s a bit like cooking in a bag. That’s life with a Betel goose, though. You never quite know what’s coming next.

from the notebooks of B. Morris Allen

About Tony Clavelli

Tony Clavelli is a writer and stopmotion animator from Illinois. He graduated from the West Virginia University MFA program in fiction. He lives and works in Seoul.


Tony Clavelli’s story “The Sound Barrier” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 8 April 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

The Heresy Machine – Gerald Warfield

Goranth struggled up the cracked and crumbling stairs of the ancient tunnel. His squat build, typical of the Dunn, rendered him ill-suited for climbing. His short legs trembled, his tail stump ached, and his labored breaths created little puffs of fog before his face. But Goranth was undaunted by the precipitous climb. Bracing himself with one hand against the fractured wall, he gripped a clay lamp in the other and doggedly persisted, hefting himself, step …

A question for Jack Noble

Q: What book or books inspired you as a child?

A: Like many people, my childhood was practically made of books. Something that stands out as especially captivating is the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. Images from those books are seared into my mind. Even today, certain sights regularly transport me back to that world: Turkish delight, lampposts in the snow, paintings of ships, and, of course, wardrobes.

Jack Noble’s story “Spoiler: She Leaves Him” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 25 March 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.