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The Bear Wife – Catherine George

The bear wife took the cub to mommy and me yoga. She didn’t look much like a bear without her fur, but somehow the other mothers seemed to sense it; when she came in carrying the cub they shifted away, drifting on their yoga mats closer to the windows, to each other. She was left alone in the middle like a stone dropped into a lake, each woman a wave rippling outward. In tree pose she was a lightning-struck pine at the center of a clearing.

It must be something primal, she thought, lifting the cub up in a sun salutation. A smell, maybe, or a musk that hadn’t gone away when the fur came off (worried now, she sniffed at her armpit as she twisted into warrior pose, but she smelled nothing but the plastic roses of her deodorant). Anyway, she didn’t blame them for staying away. The bear was still in there, just below the skin; if any of them threatened the cub she’d tear the heart from their chest.

As the mothers eased into downward dog — a ring of A-frame cabins, each sheltering a baby — the weathered blonde yoga teacher approached her mat and placed a gentle hand on the bear wife’s back, correcting her posture. “Like this,” she said. “Keep your back flat.” The hand pulled away, a bird taking flight, then settled again, on the hunch of her neck. “Focus on pulling the shoulder blades together behind you.”

The bear wife didn’t bother to tell her the hunch would never go away. No amount of focusing on her shoulder blades would remove the grizzly in her.

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The Bear Wife – Catherine George
The bear wife took the cub to mommy and me yoga. She didn’t look much like a bear without her fur, but somehow the other mothers seemed to sense it; when she came in carrying the cub they shifted away, drifting on their yoga mats closer to the windows, to each other. She was left alone in the middle like a stone dropped into a lake, each woman a wave rippling outward. In tree pose she …
Read it "The Bear Wife – Catherine George"
The Soul Farmer’s Daughters – Kyle Kirrin
Thirteen souls flit about in mason jars on the mantle above my workbench. They’re bright—luminescent, even—but they’re not potent enough for the Duke. I glance at the ghostly light flickering within Vella’s abdomen, then pull another stool up next to mine. “Come, sit. I’ve got a surprise for you.” She joins me. “But isn’t—” “He’s still a little ways out. We’ve got time.” Seventeen minutes to be exact, I think, but never say. “Close your …
Read it "The Soul Farmer’s Daughters – Kyle Kirrin"
The Lightkeeper’s Wife – Amelia Dee Mueller
The first time Elsie Frasier tried to murder her husband, the other women of Auskerry called it a pretty meager attempt. Some insisted it might even have been an accident. He had fallen down the last flight of stairs in the couple’s lighthouse and only fractured the smaller bone in his arm. The next time, when he fell from his ladder while painting the kitchen cupboards, was nearly two years later, much too long when …
Read it "The Lightkeeper’s Wife – Amelia Dee Mueller"
Snapped Dry, Scraped Clean – Setsu Uzumé
Once the corpse is ready to return to the desert, it falls to me to gather her memories. The house where they fester has good bones, but its guts are in turmoil. A stain that looks like bile has seeped through the floor. That means many hours taking up the boards and hauling them to the firehouse. Hours of exposure. Any strong back can haul for the death carts, but carters can’t do their work …
Read it "Snapped Dry, Scraped Clean – Setsu Uzumé"

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Sheer – Phil Berry

Resten Light woke up, pushed the fibre blanket away, and pulled apart the two wings that formed the doors of his nest. He took in the immense sky, its colour and its shapes. Clouds coalesced around the upper reaches of the Far Tower. No-one in his community had seen the top or knew what shape it took. Some said it was flat – truly horizontal – but few believed that myth. Horizontal was unobtainable. He …

Multiple submissions – the first 9 months

We offer overview feedback for multiple (>5 stories) submitters, but we hide the info away at the very bottom of our Rejectomancy page, and not many people know about it. I heard from a writer today who had submitted to us many times, but hadn’t run across this little tidbit. Out of curiosity, I took a quick and messy look at how many people do submit more than once. Out of 1,368 submissions to date, …

A question for Kelly Sandoval

Q: Do you have a garden? Have you ever grown your own food?

A: When I was young, we had a huge garden with all sorts of herbs, veggies, and flowers. I used to spend hours reading among the plants. My current tiny apartment doesn’t have room for gardening, but I still love the idea of it. Luckily, Seattle is a very green city. Even if I don’t have plants of my own, growing things are all around me.


Kelly Sandoval’s story “Small Magics” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 17 June 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

Payment methods survey

In light of some recent frustration with PayPal, we surveyed submitters about their preferred payment method. The short answer – PayPal, for all its difficulties, is the best answer. We asked three questions: What payment methods do you have available? What’s your preferred payment method? Do you either live in the US or have a US bank account? The results were very clear. Most people have PayPal and can take a personal check. A large …

About B. Morris Allen

B. Morris Allen grew up in a house full of books that traveled the world. Nowadays, they’re e-books, and lighter to carry, but they’re still multiplying. He’s been a biochemist, an activist, and a lawyer, and now works as a foreign aid consultant. When he’s not roaming foreign countries fighting corruption, he’s on the Oregon coast, chatting with seals. In the occasional free moment, he edits Metaphorosis magazine, and works on his own speculative stories of love and disaster.

www.BMorrisAllen.com


B. Morris Allen’s story “Adaptations to Coastal Erosion” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 24 June 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.

In Dew and Frost and Flame – Vanessa Fogg

They were eight when he first wrote her name in dew. They’d met at recess, each wandering alone on the edges of the playground until they bumped into one another. His pockets were filled with acorns and stones; his hands held fallen twigs. He had no interest in joining the other boys with their ball games and imaginary light saber battles. Her pockets were filled with pine cones and pebbles; her hands clutched autumn leaves. …