In the Beating of a Wing – David Cleden

When his mother calls, Chester is in the back yard tending to his various projects, which all seem to be going badly. “Chester!” Her voice is shrill and tired-sounding, as though she’s been crying again. “Inside now, please.” He ignores her, head bent over his work. The frankenstem is dying, and he’s sad about that. The books he’s read make it sound easy—how you can graft cuttings from one plant onto another, taking the best …

Somewhere to be Going – Katrina Smith

The changeling boy goes to space in a ship of his own making. Late at night, as the house sleeps, he labors over steel and circuits in his father’s garage. Next to the classic Tesla S and the mid 20th century Cadillac with predatory tailfins, Corbin carves curves into plastic, coaxes lines of electricity until they bloom like branching veins in the structure of his heart’s desire. As dawn begins he steps back to look …

A Sacrifice for the Queen – Luke Murphy

Long before dawn I give up trying to sleep and walk around the apartment packing some essentials into a travel bag. If things go badly today, I’m prepared. As I’m putting my government passport into my purse, a wave of nausea sloshes through my guts. I make it to the toilet this time. When the heaves subside, my phone buzzes with the first of the day’s texts from the boss. From Insindiso, Queen of Toronto, …

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 …

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 …

Pleasing the Giants – Carolyn Lenz

Deiderick raced down the cobblestone street, the hollow sound of his footsteps barely audible over the singing around him. It wouldn’t take long for his mother and father to notice him missing. He was supposed to be arranging tulips now, in full view of the giants, just as their boat passed. But they wouldn’t ask where he was. They wouldn’t show any anger or disappointment in him. Their smiles wouldn’t falter, not when the giants …